WHO ARE THEY? Actually, that pronoun should be he. Against All Logic is the alter ego and musical brainchild of New York electronic button-pusher and envelope-pusher Nicolas Jaar. If that doesn’t ring a bell, it probably won’t help to tell you that he’s also half of the band Darkside, owner of the Other People record label and remixer of everyone from Michael Jackson to Florence And The Machine — though you might have heard of his most popular and pertinent credit: Co-producer of FKA Twigs’ most recent studio album Magdalene.
WHAT IS THIS? Not one but two new releases from the prolific multi-tasker. Illusions of Shameless Abundance is a two-song EP featuring contributions from Twigs and frequent collaborator Lydia Lunch; 2017-2019 is his fourth full-length and the followup to 2018’s similarly titled and similarly eccentric 2012-2017.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Music that lives up to its author’s name — at least when it comes to the rules of electronica and EDM. AAL isn’t out to fill the floor with escalating beats, crowdpleasing samples and bass drops. Then again, nor is he trying to induce head-nodding and chin-scratching with artsy sonics, complex canvases and avant-garde creations. Instead, he aims somewhere down the middle, dishing up darkly eccentric, emotionally detached and eternally glitchy deconstructions that are equal parts seductive and unsettling, beautiful and ominous, like malfunctioning machines that end up creating something weirdly compelling.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Saturday Night Fever Dream.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While taking designer drugs after a black-lit afterparty in a downtown loft at 4 a.m.
WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Cerebral, hypnotic, pulsing, skewed, paranoid, stylish, subtle, noisy, claustrophobic, twitchy.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Illusion‘s title track and 2017’s If You Can’t Do it Good, Do It Hard, both of which feature agent provocateur Lunch; Alucinao, which has its way with a Twigs vocal; Fantasy, based around dramatically sliced and diced samples from Beyonce and Sean Paul’s Baby Boy.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to dance or take notes.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? Anytime you want a groove that aims above your neck instead of just below your waist.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE AN ELECTRONIC COMPONENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A cracked circuit board.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? You could try to stream it — but your device might take over and make you buy it anyway.