Nicolas Jaar’s debut album Space Is Only Noise may have been received by widespread international acclaim, but for the rising star of the international electronic music scene, its 2011 release held one major disappointment.
Holding the CD in his hand, the 22-year-old Chilean musician was struck by how «completely archaic» the format is.
«I simply decided to try to never put out music through CDs, because I don’t agree with the format,» Jaar told Rolling Stone. «It didn’t make any sense.»
And true to his word, the most recent release by Jaar’s multi-media production company, Clown & Sunset Aesthetics, comes not in the form of a CD. . . but a cube.
Don’t Break My Love, a compilation of “lost memories” by the artists on Jaar’s label, is stored in a palm-sized aluminum box called “The Prism,” which comes with a play, stop, skip and repeat buttons.
The prism’s design – elegant in its simplicity – echoes Jaar’s often strange, always intelligent music, which is influenced by fellow Chilean and legendary techno minimalist Ricardo Villalobos.
«There’s a way to make the object even more simple and rudimentary,» Jaar said. «The more simple the experience is, the better it is. The more it gives voice to the music, the better. I want the music to be put into your head in the most simple way possible.»
The only other feature of the plain white box, besides its title, is two headphone jacks, which also reveal an insight into its producer’s philosophy.
«The most important thing was the object was shareable, that the actual experience was about listening with someone else,» Jaar said.
It seems that Jaar’s fans agree with him; the first batch of Prisms were sold out within days, though a more have since become available through the label’s website.
And for the innovative music producer, Don’t Break My Love is just the first step in exploring new formats by which to release music.