Review: Noseph Janner / Levvels - Destroyed Minutes / Levvels of Death
The first release from the brand new label Metaphysical Circuits, a sort of the next venture after the end of A Beard of Snails label, presents the “split” cassette between the two different solo projects by Owen McLean. Both sides present radically different approaches to raw, analog electronics. One is a glistening ride through komische school of progressive electronic, the other is much more raw and abstract, with leanings to the academic experimentations of early synthesizer vanguards.
If you’re a more “melody-friendly” type of person, you should fall in love with the Noseph Janner side. The short tracks are more like impressions, brief vignettes than fully realized songs, something like short exercises in synthesizer bliss. Moods and atmospheres change at a kaleidoscopic pace, leaving the analog territory for some more “live” instruments, like the lazy, piano-driven “Solar Surfer” which sounds like a loose cover of Readiohead’s “Pyramid Song”. Cosmic and New Age imagery permeates both the music and the track titles (like “Satellite Soul Vision”, “God Vision”, “Star Ocean”, “Planet of Sirens” etc.) - many tracks have the word “vision” in them, making them into transmissions from the subconscious or psychedelic experiences. That was the visionary side.
Now the abstract side by Levvels. “Levvels of Death” is almost completely anti-melodic, with McLean pushing his synthesizer(s) to the limit with noise-laden, thick and often harsh walls of pulsing, wailing, droning sounds. If Noseph Janner was the more beautiful side of space with colorful galaxies and shining stars, Levvels is the sound of coldness, vastness and emptiness of cosmos - imagine you’re an astronaut and some part of your space vessel begins malfunctioning. Levvels is the soundtrack to the space travel gone wrong and the fear.