Nicolas Jaar
Nymphs III


4.5
superb

Review

by HalcyonMusic USER (8 Reviews)
July 7th, 2015 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Growth.

At what point can a part of a series be divorced from the whole? Nymphs III is Nicolas Jaar’s second EP in as many months, and with it comes all of Nymphs II’s connotations. II was a minimalist kaleidoscope of noise and dance, never static, never certain. From that alone, the series seemed to be looking for a subdued, refracted beauty. However, III trades complexity for subtlety, volatility for constancy, distancing itself from II’s wall of calculated engineering in favour of a leaner sound. It’s no less impressive for it: III offers the same entrancement as its predecessor, but through different means.

‘Swim’, at thirteen minutes, dominates the EP, weaving a serpentine piece from a simple synth line and echoing hi-hat, each element slowly morphing amidst the intermittent electronic atmosphere. It opts for raw development, regularly cutting parts to destabilise the track before trying another iteration. However, these moments never feel forced - each interruption feels like part of an organic system, carried forward by a natural momentum. Crucially, Jaar postpones singing; the prolonged absence of his voice allows the visceral processing to shine, and when the vocals finally emerge, they do so steadily, a gorgeous, distant choir in delay that swells before falling under the renewed beat. In a track built on sharp percussion and guttural electronics, they’re an ethereal welcome.

Unlike II, where ‘The Three Sides of Audrey’ was essentially an introduction to ‘No One is Looking at U’, ‘Mistress’ compliments ‘Swim’ while succeeding on its own merits. ‘Swim’s’ reverbed percussion and swirling textures give way to a watery, detuned piano riff, which resolves and then repeats, each time a variation on the theme, growing, reflecting, and steadily collapsing into a haunting, melancholic fervour. It’s a further demonstration of what makes III compelling: the EP succeeds because it’s willing to tear apart what it builds. It prefers construction to composition, twisting simple musical ideas in increasingly intricate ways, taking each to their limit before allowing the whole to collapse. Fittingly, despite the greater focus on form, Jaar forgoes any clear conclusion: ‘Mistress’ hits a final, uncertain note before succumbing to tape hiss. The satisfaction is in the process. At the end, all that’s left is noise.



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user ratings (56)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
HalcyonMusic
July 7th 2015


85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nymphs-iii-ep/id1006689530

4.4



Jots
Emeritus
July 7th 2015


7561 Comments


(edit: fixed)

really good review with some creative descriptions. the comparisons to II were tastefully done

HalcyonMusic
July 7th 2015


85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fixed, cheers.

PappyMason
July 7th 2015


5702 Comments


Yep, super review. Pos'.
I wasn't even aware that this had come out, need to check.

StrangerofSorts
Emeritus
July 8th 2015


2904 Comments


Well shit, this one passed me by. Loved II, so sounds like this'll be a treat (:

ParanoidAndroid96
July 12th 2015


1393 Comments


great review, pos. just checked out II and I'm really into it. gonna give this a try soon

nychicano
July 14th 2015


333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Swim is SOTY

granitenotebook
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2015


1271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nymphs I out now..so there's currently four nymphs pieces, 7 songs, 53 minutes. (I say that because they make a p. cool little album if you try them together)



edit: so I think the Nymphs I tracks are just https://rateyourmusic.com/release/ep/nicolas_jaar/dont_break_my_love/ with the same track names and everything but now under the "Nymphs I" name

gosk8n
December 1st 2015


1093 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Swim is song of the year

hal1ax
January 5th 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

swim is so fcking good

MotokoKusanagi
May 18th 2016


4290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love the EP art

rabidfish
February 7th 2017


8684 Comments


These nymph's EPs are so much better than Sirens wtf happened, nic

Chortles
June 15th 2017


21494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

swim is unbelievable

MotokoKusanagi
February 10th 2019


4290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so did anyone snag the vinyl box set?

Demon of the Fall
December 13th 2020


33511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The whole ‘Nymphs’ series is excellent. Really enjoying this guy’s stuff.

MotokoKusanagi
December 13th 2020


4290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice bump, i haven't heard this in a while. i should take care of that today

rabidfish
February 13th 2021


8684 Comments


nymphs deserves a review, tbh. this shit too good.

dedex
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2021


12774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

whaddabeauty

Demon of the Fall
December 9th 2021


33511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Righteous bumparino

MotokoKusanagi
December 9th 2021


4290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Righteous bumparino [2]



i think Swim is one of my favorite micro / deep house tracks ever



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