ALBUM REVIEW: Against All Logic – 2017 – 2019

By: Billy Bugara

ARTIST: Against All Logic

ALBUM: 2017 – 2019

GENRE: House, IDM, Industrial

RELEASE DATE: 2/7/2020

RATING: 8/10

Legendary Chilean producer Nicolas Jaar has delivered his second full-length project under the pseudonym “Against All Logic” with 2017 – 2019 — an album that all but reaffirms the iconic act’s status as one of house music’s most integral, outstanding, and unmistakably consistent presences.

As the project’s name suggests, the album is a substantial compilation of tracks that Jaar had worked on for a three year period, all culminating in its early 2020 release as a whole. Given such a lengthy period of work, even in comparison to the much heavier debut A.A.L compilation 2012 – 2017, the album delivers in the only way that it possibly could: by simply being a cohesive roundup of addicting, head bouncing, and body moving offerings.

With the fullest regards to the “limits” of baseline house music, this album gives the listener all they ever needed when searching for a prototypical release in this style. This is not to say that this fact takes anything away from this release, or really any release in Jaar’s heavily developed discography. Rather, the album revels in that in very simplicity, judging solely off of how well each track excels as just that — run of the mill house tracks.

This sentiment is one that Jaar has expressed as being a driving force behind both releases under this alternate title, and even though many may claim that this mindset is “lazy” or “uninspired” from a spectacle, the fact that the songs still come off as just as conveying and seeped in as much substance as they are truly speaks both to this release and Jaar as an artist’s calibers respectfully.

Even with all of this being said, Jaar still takes his fair share of detours on the project to keep things as fresh and nuanced as they can be despite the aforementioned presence of that simplistic approach. Numerous tracks throughout the project see smooth and delicate transitions from atmospheric passages to pounding and wholly danceable riffs and rhythms — creating an experience that never strays too far towards one side of traditional house music, while still embodying the genre in full.

It takes a master at work to ideally pull this off and still gain any sort of acclaim for doing so, and Jaar may be one of the only working acts today that can convincingly lay claim to such an accomplishment. Compilations in this light offer the simplest of concepts with the simplest of methodologies, but if they are done as well as something like 2017 – 2019 is, then they make this chameleon-like transformation into a cohesively signature experience.

The album in question exists as a 46-minute romp through the world of one of electronic music’s most definitive genres; if it was delivered with any less consistency and/or finesse, then it would just be your average release in this style. Thankfully, Nicolas Jaar never settles for anything less than impressive, even despite the barriers he places on himself, intentionally or not, and this project proves that notion in full.