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Level - Shalan play release in jukebox

16 Aug 2006 :: MP3

Polymorphic is proud to unveil a new full-length album from B.G. Nichols, aka Level.

His Level project provides a natural counterpoint to his work as Si_Comm and allows him to explore the more textural, ambient style of his music - where Si_Comm deconstructs, Level reconstructs and adds layers of organic sound into the mix.

Shalan is a natural successor to both Cycla and Shimmer and features a similar theme of melancholy, beauty and desolation. As a companion to both it shares a similar palette of sounds, yet retains its own distinguishing features.

Deep swathes of ambience play out across the tracks with background sounds providing a subtly rhythmic base for the chords and textures to work their magic.

There’s a lightness and fragility to the music that echoes the fractured nature of day-to-day life in the modern world. This feeling of loneliness is something that most people listening to the music will identify with in some way – particularly the isolationists amongst us.

That Nichols is inviting us along on such a personal sounding and introspective musical adventure is a privilege and an honour.

With ‘Aramaia’, Level sets out the framework for the album by delivering one of the saddest and most beautiful tracks you’re liable to hear. Mournful guitar sounds and a desperately sublime underlying drone ensure that you’ll be emotionally involved from the moment you begin listening.

From there each track delivers a deep meditation on subtle sound manipulation and the art of engaging people through tone and texture.

Cala Mesca’ bears a resemblance to Cycla’s ‘Aler Besc’ and could conceivably be considered as a follow-up; ‘Shalan’ itself is constructed of muted ranges of drone with chiming, funereal bell sounds arranged across them; ‘Shehade’ showcases the wonderful piano tracks that surface on this album with an epic feeling of magnitude and an expansive use of reverb and delay; Finally ‘Arque’ delivers a gentle, thoughtful and classically inclined sound which, once again, utilises live piano playing and hi-frequency sounds.

As ever with Level’s music this work should be experienced without interruption. To break it up into tracks is to fundamentally dismember something which hangs together so beautifully and so delicately.

Shalan proves, once again, that Level is a force to be reckoned with.


Reviewed by Mike Oliver

download :: 1. Level - Aramaia

download :: 2. Level - Fronde

download :: 3. Level - Nostre / Cala Mesca

download :: 4. Level - Shalan

download :: 5. Level - Shehade

download :: 6. Level - Frisque

download :: 7. Level - Arque

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