After the huge, snappy hit that was Levela’s Cerebral EP earlier this year and a pretty impressive string of one-off tracks and remixes with the likes of Current Value, Neosignal and – the big surprise – Hybrid Minds, fans may have thought 2019 was pretty much done for the UK-based artist. Not so, says the Vision release schedule. The Realities EP is due out this Friday and it’s just as big and snappy as anything he’s done this year.
One thing Levela has been known for throughout his career is staying true to his style. He likes big beats, bigger sound design and kicky kicks. That said, there’s never a lack of diversity in his sound and Realities proves this once again. Full of old school darkstep vibes, the EP runs the gamut of beat structures and synths, from breaks to jump up to melodic bordering on liquid. It’s all open-spaced, eerie and unmistakably Levela, however, and this combination is what really keeps fans coming back.
The aforementioned melodic bordering on liquid vibe belongs to the Bassrush premiere today in a track called “Nausea.” This track starts out so melodic, in fact, that listeners may check the player to make sure they haven’t wandered into an errant Hybrid Minds track. The intro is beautifully composed and, while lush, cinematic and melodic, it’s still a bit spooky so fans won’t be fooled for long. If there was still any doubt by the end of the intro, a high-pitched oversynth winds into that melody to facilitate the drop and let punters know playtime is over.
The drop is echoey and starts out with a cymbal where the snare would be, making it sort of a hollow beginning to the beat. That hollow space is quickly filled in by syncopated snares and there’s an early break after that into which Levela drops another, more solid beat with a snappy kick drum and a rumbling sub bass synth that sinewaves in and out of the track. After a second mini-break the beat goes mad, lit up with at least two levels of fast, jazzy snares and the kick beat desperately trying to keep up with them. It’s a mad dash to the finish line from there and the track leaves off with one final note from the opening melody.
The composition and layering of “Nausea” reads like a classical orchestral piece and there’s really no mistaking how complex it truly is. That said, it’s steppy and danceable and with that kick and the rumbling sub bass, this track will still take down a dancefloor before the first break even introduces said kick and sub bass. This interplay of unbelievably tight writing and danceability is, ostensibly, the real way Levela keeps it real with his sound; that balance is not always easy but he strikes it every time. With all the diversity of style and subgenre going on within Realities, the quality and composition never suffer and neither do the dancefloor vibes.
Realities is out tomorrow, December 20 on Vision Recordings so download/stream yours here.