No Mana finally released his long-awaited debut album, Secret Level, on deadmau5‘ imprint, mau5trap. The album features 11 tracks, with collaborations alongside Chipzel, Jantine, Voicians, and EDDIE. It showcases the artist’s musical growth and an emboldening of his sound pulling from progressive to trance, and electro. Leading up to the release date, he shared snippets from tracks accompanying self-made visuals.
— no mana ☕ ELECTROHOUSE2020 (@ihavenomanas) January 27, 2020
‘Secret Level’ leads off with the title track produced alongside Chipzel, sounding like a progressive builder. Within, it’s heavily lead by sparkling synths and arpeggiated melodies that contrast the deep punching kick. Clearly emphasizing on a chiptune essence, it leads into the previously released ‘Strangers‘ with Jantine. Within, plucks take control of the movement as the singing carries further the melody. Following, ‘Only Noise‘ featuring Voicians brims with electro and slamming percussion giving a bouncy rhythm. This unravels into ‘Bed of Stars‘, soothing towards glittery brushing lead synths and comforting vocals.
From that point, ‘Distance‘ and ‘Bottle Service‘ drive back to No Mana’s belting bass rhythms reaching ‘Phoenix Up‘. On it, that track lays out an atmospheric foundation nodding to the start of the album while maintaining true to the flowing energy theme. ‘Special Move‘ follows thematic suite, but strips back the dancier core into a darker reverberating one.
‘Something About You‘ has a consistent driving force behind it laced by twinged synth touches and vocal echoes. Onward, ‘Fragile Human‘ sees No Mana teaming up with EDDIE again since the release of ‘Untitled Forever‘. Within, the collaboration opens on landscaping arpeggios with hints of a pad filling in the spaces. Building up, it gains a percussive bone, but it only adds to the pleasantly calming aura rather than push aggressively on the sound. Concluding, ‘VVVR‘ wraps up Secret Level by melding together all the sonic influences that appeared on the album into a mash. Across, it touches on the spacious, bass-centric, progressive, ethereal, and electro-driven notes scattered throughout the album.