REVIEW | A.A.L (Against All Logic) – “2012-2017” (by Nicolas Jaar)

A little over two weeks ago, Nicolas Jaar quietly dropped a solo full length album called 2012-2017. Only he did it under his old alias A.A.L (Against All Logic) on a newly created Soundcloud page that hardly anyone is following, so for the most part, the initial release went pretty much unnoticed. Which is quite the shame because it’s some of his finest work put together and missing out on a gem like this would be a major L.

The album is a collection of songs created over the span of five years, but refreshingly, the 11 chosen tracks steer away from the moody and minimal vibes that we’ve heard (and loved) on past work such as Sirens, Pomegranates and Nymphs. Instead, we get a much more fun and playful experience — and when Nicolas Jaar is in this mood, the results are always magical.

True to his style, the album is full of old unidentifiable R&B and gospel vocal samples that sound hauntingly beautiful against Jaar’s fiery beats that are still deep and experimentally electronic in a way only Nicolas Jaar can do. Yet even though every song seems to have more light than darkness shining, there’s a feel-good energy throughout the listen, and somehow while every songs sounds disparate and from a different time (i.e 2012-2017), everything still flows cohesively together like a beautiful piece of art.

A “surprise” album from Nicolas Jaar is always a treat and to get one of such great quality makes it even better. Now let’s just hope a 2012-2017 tour will soon be announced!

My top three favorite tracks are below:

*TRACK 1 – “This Old House:” Perfect intro to an album that’s about to take you on unexpected trip. This track has an old 70’s vibes to it and it’s not just because of the vocal sample, it’s also because Nicolas produced a nice head nodding beat fit for a late summer night ride in an old school (top down) classic whip.

*TRACK 2 – “I Never Dream:” Jaar is great at building you up then making you wait for the drop. In this song he’s letting his impressive production skills get all the shine with very little vocals, just beautiful noise.

*TRACK 6 – “Such a Bad Way:” My favorite so far.  Despite the title, this song has that feel-good vibe I was talking about. It’s such a lovely piece of music and it gets even lovelier at the 1:07 mark. So much production madness going on with the instruments (those tambourines are heavenly), the screams, the robotic gibberish. I love this song, it will be my on-repeat track for the week/month/year.

Other favorites: Track 7 - “Cityfade“  Track 3 – “Some Kind Of Game,” Track 5 – “Know You” Stream the full album below.