Nicolas Jaar - Echoplex - 3/26/12
With only one full-length album and a couple EP's under his belt, it was quite a surprise to see electronic artist Nicolas Jaar's show turn into the hottest ticket in town on Monday night. The standby line outside the Echoplex stretched down the sidewalk, as fans hoped to see the much-hyped Chilean-American producer's first Los Angeles show. They were right to be psyched; Jaar delivered a tremendous hour and a half set.
Opener Nicola Cruz mixed up a stew of jazzy instrumental hip-hop, more in line with the style of Low End Theory than Nicolas Jaar, known for trafficking in a more subtle electronic style. Though the beat-heavy set was rooted mostly in hip-hop, Cruz also managed to branch out into house. He excelled in the latter part of his set with a more loungey, downtempo style akin to Nightmares on Wax.
Aaron Frank Nicola Cruz
Though he played it safe for the most part, Cruz had a distinct original flavor that managed to get the crowd moving. There's something to be said for pleasing a crowd of electronic fans in L.A., who seem to be getting more finicky if your specialty doesn't currently involve dubstep wobbles and chainsaw effects. At the same venue that hosted Skrillex not long ago, the crowd on Monday night clearly preferred Nicolas Jaar's field samples and saxophone loops to the abrasiveness of a brostep set.