Nicky Lars – The Jamiroquai Beat Tape (2010)

To be completely honest, I wasn’t familiar with the name Nicky Lars until his music came across my desk late last night. As I was midnight marauding, taking in his sound, I recognized three significant truths about our enigmatic guest of honor.

1. He is a gifted, and superbly experimental beatmaker.
2. He has a firm appreciate for the work of Jamiroquai.
3. He is most certainly of French descent.

To accurately describe Jamiroquai in any sort of succinct manner may be asking a bit too much of your currently beleaguered writer. Their sound traverses planes holding the musical idiosyncrasies of Stevie Wonder, Incognito, and Daft Punk. But, rarely have these spaces been occupied simultaneously. Some might call it “acid jazz.” I, however, simply call it good music. Knowing Jamiroquai, if only slightly, is the first step in wholly understanding the most recent work of Nicky Lars.

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There is an indescribable banality found in the oft-ordered “remake” album. You take from another and attempt to make it your own. It’s a fine line between replicated plagiarism and recycled beauty. Dela found it and so has Nicky Lars. Transpiring on the Jamiroquai Beat Tape is a reclamation project with indisputable results.

My initial expectation was the result of those many artists who choose to photocopy sound rather than take inspiration from it. I expected to hear an artist lay his own verses down atop the exact same sounds made popular by the UK-outfit circa early-90s. But, I got something different. Nicky Lars uses the works of Jamiroquai in manner worth more praise than I have to give. Being familiar with the source material, I can recognize the samples, and yet, he manages to flip them in such a way that they are nearly indecipherable. This isn’t a simple copy and paste project. This is authentic musical composition.

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As I mentioned, Jamiroquai’s work incorporates horn-driven funk and full blown string sections pieced together with a blinding array of musical eccentricity, and out of that our resident producer/MC orchestrated some phenomenally dope hip-hop.

Perhaps, this will be the spark I need to finally learn French. Rapping along to the passionate delivery of Nicky Lars is slightly comical in my Americanized-grandeur. But, I suppose music truly has no borders. Until then, I’ll cool out with the transcendent sounds of Nicky Lars. I suggest you do the same.

Check out more of Nicky Lars’ catalog at nickylars.bandcamp.com, and follow him on twitter, @nickylars.

Written By: Paul Pennington

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Nicky Lars (@NickyLars) – The Jamiroquai Beat Tape (2010) http://t.co/qFMCWTLG

posted by @RoyAyersProject on 01.10.12 at 11:00 am

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