J-Level - A Symphony of Psychedels

by James Briscoe Rating:8 Release Date:2010-09-06

A Symphony of Psychedels is the second full-length offering from J-Level, an electronic artist from London who has also spent time honing his DJ'ing skills in Leeds.

As you might expect from a predominantly electro album; each of its eight tracks exceed six minutes in length - yes, six minutes - and yet, each track seems to run in through one ear and out of the other in the time it takes to say 'J-Level'. However, that is not due to boredom setting in. It is just that the tracks on the album are so relaxingly atmospheric that they put you under a spell as deeply as any narcotic or alcohol might (if you were that way inclined).

It is not a surprise to find that J-Level is a fan of Regina Spektor when you listen to possibly the most commercial track on the album, 'Velocity Structure remix feat. Caz'. As much as J-Level is predominantly a DJ, he seems to understand the possibilities that are opened up when you add a simple melodic voice to an otherwise mechanic track. Female vocalist Caz helps to soften the occasionally pointy, robotic nature of the album, the effect of which can be noticed most starkly on 'Velocity Structure'.

A Symphony of Psychedels would be a perfect soundtrack to a tense platform videogame with its somewhat retro-futuristic sound. And in this sense, the sound of the album takes advantage of something that is very current and popular. J-Level uses some equally timely and interesting samples in his album, such as in 'The Place of the Way', which includes parts of a speech by an American president, possibly JFK. It gives A Symphony of Psychedels an authentic and quality feeling. It also adds originality which can be severely lacking in other modern music.

A Symphony of Psychedels is a rolling hillscape of pockets of different sounds from varying origins. Haunting female voices, (those of Emma Green and Caz) whistle through its musical heather plants and metallic raindrops tap beats on corrugated out-houses. It is an electronic album about as natural as an electronic album could be. It is a great entry-level album to get in to electronic music, so give it a play.

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