Against All Logic - 2017 - 2019
Feb 7, 2020 (updated Feb 7, 2020)
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I think it's safe to say that Nicholas Jaar was my favorite producer of the last decade. His work under several pseudonyms over the past years have been absolutely spell-binding. The finely tuned and intricate microhouse cuts on Space is only noise, his Nymph EPs, the excellent collaboration with guitarist Dave Harrington, that with the addition of harrington's guitar further enhanced Jaar's electronics, and finally one of his most consistent and gratifying works to date under the pseudonym Against All Logic, a compilation of pure house excellence, that was funky and well-structured. Overall what makes Jaar's work so compelling is his attention to detail and atmosphere while not sacrificing one for the other, a common downfall of many electronic projects.

Prior to release of his next compilation, Jaar released a two-track EP that consisted of these very unkept compositions that were dissapointing to say the least, his trademark structuring was not present. Thankfully, those two tracks are knowhere to be found on this full-length project.

Apparently the songs on this album were recorded between 2017 all the way through 2019, and what is featured definitely includes new territory for Nicholas but not foreign. I was somewhat worried that the fuzzed and crunched aspects of the EP that preceded this would be center stage here, but i was relieved to hear that was not the case. The only cut that carries that same sound is the opening track "Fantasy", which is built around a beat that is drowned in compression and a low ratio, giving it a sort clunky but interesting groove. There is also a sample of a female vocal that sounds similar-to-or-is Beyonce, im not sure, but was an interesting contrast to the very deconstructed beat. The deeper you dive into the tracklist, that distortion slowly peels away, to reveal, more straightforward house beats. If loving you is wrong, was one of the most similar to 2012-2017, with its soul sample and airy atmosphere. I do have to say that the first side of the album is somewhat clunky and not altogether cohesive. Take for example "If you cant do it good, Do it Hard", which is probably the most similar track to the EP, it is not an enjoyable listen, as it sounds jagged and rough, with the addition of the obnoxious vocal sample that enters towards the middle. It is unfortunately complemented by another bit-crushed track but i do have to say the way it leads into the track "Deeeeeeefers" is the only purpose it seems to serve. The last three tracks on the record are among my favorite, devoid of any compression and bit-crushed out ratios, they boast atmospheric soundscapes and uncluttered beats, ending the record with a strong sense of finality.

As a whole, 2017-2019, is a solid project, not the power "house", that was 2012-2017, but does include a handful of tight bangers to spare.
2 Comments
Feb 7, 2020
Great review. Jaar probably narrowly edges out FlyLo for my producer of the decade as well, although I find I didn't keep coming back to AAL nearly as much as other works. Not totally sure how I feel about this one yet.
Feb 8, 2020
@TheBravesDH Thank You!
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