The Prism

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Nicolas Jaar makes songs that sound something like stripped down, rained on dance music held behind a thin layer of ice.

His first album, “Space is Only Noise”, was released in early 2011 to widespread acclaim.

On top of that, Jaar is a student at Brown University, the founder of independent record label Clown and Sunset, and, most recently, a designer of unique musical objects.

The Prism is Jaar’s latest undertaking. It is a small metal box, about twice the size of a die, which contains twelve songs from various Clown and Sunset artists, including a few new tracks from Jaar. The Prism represents a musical ideal, for Jaar, a revolt against the CD, against pop, against the subordination of quality and beauty to profitability. With The Prism, Jaar hopes to preserve the power of music as a unique experience:

“If you’re a record label… you should be making something people can’t make, that’s the point”

The Prism will be Clown and Sunset’s primary means of physical musical distribution, alongside vinyl. The first Prism is out now and entitled “Don’t Break My Love”. You can listen to a few of the songs on The Prism here.

Listen to Nicolas Jaar’s excellent, eclectic (Bill Callahan! Keith Jarrett!) BBC Essential Mix here.


Walter Gordon is an intern at The Rumpus. He is a native of Berkeley, CA and goes to college in Oberlin, OH. He spends most of his time reading. His eyes hurt. Other hobbies include photography, writing fiction, and sitting on top of tall piles of rocks. More from this author →