Nicolas Jean Luc Laget – Payback! (Spotify)

“Journey to the most secret corners of the human subconscious, in which you only wish one thing - don't get lost and go back! Immerse in the high-quality combination of Ambient and Neoclassic, which create a unique and unforgettable impression.”

“Путешествие в самые потайные уголки человеческого подсознания, в которых желаешь лишь одного — не заблудиться и вернуться назад. Качественное сочетание эмбиента и неоклассики создают уникальное и незабываемое впечатление. Погружение гарантированно!”

From Dark EP. Listen it herE:

Virginia-based, French composer Nicolas Laget releases his captivating new EP, ‘Dark’, out now on all streaming platforms.

Inspired by the likes of Johann Johannson, Max Richter, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds, Nicolas draws from his combined influences to create his own unique brand of Neo-Classical compositions. Fusing modern classical with electronic beats, Nicolas thrives on being able to experiment with his music and the concepts and emotions he’s able to portray.

Speaking of the EP, Nicolas says, “This is a collection of pieces created over many years. Some were created for films, some are pure musical pursuits. They are tied together by their emotional content. This music explores various states of discomfort, disorientation, angst, oppression, sadness, and tragedy.”

The EP’s opening track ‘Threat and Sanctuary’ laments humanity’s inability to respect and protect the natural habitats of millions of species. Last Night is the bittersweet farewell of a loving wife faced with a terminal disease while ‘Payback!’ and ‘Time Thied’ are from the soundtrack to “Dear Walmart” which documents the corporate giant’s history of unfair treatment of its workforce. ‘Vis Mens Lux Rex’ is about war, domination, and hubris, ‘Hypnosis’ explores losing perspective and a sense of reality.

‘Sensorium 2220’ ponders the future of humanity as machines and software reshape the world we live in, ‘Broken Mosaic’ narrates the fits and starts, ups and downs, small victories and setbacks of the long process that is recovery, and finally, the EP’s closing track ‘The Riots’ is from the documentary ‘Struggle & Hope’ and is about the Tulsa massacre on May 31 1921.

African by birth, European by upbringing, Asian spiritually and American at heart, Nicolas Laget has been a musician since childhood. His early years were spent singing in choirs and playing Baroque chamber music on the alto recorder. In his teens Nicolas expanded his musical horizons by studying the flute, the tenor saxophone and the keyboard. After obtaining a masters degree in composition from the University of Virginia with a specialization in Orchestral music, he seized the first professional opportunity he came across and settled in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

In the last decade Nicolas – aka Kolai - has become a noted producer. His first album, released by the London-based jazz/soul/dance label Chillifunk, was nominated best jazz album of 2003 by London’s Jazz FM. He has performed in Europe, Asia, and the Americas with various bands as a flutist and tenor saxophonist.

In 2003 Nicolas founded the Sweet Spot Studio in response to the many engineering requests he received since releasing his first records. He has helped craft Jazz, Rock, Ska, Neo Soul, Gospel, and Dance records heard across the world.

Reviewed by Nagamag on January 19, 2022