Album Review: Secret Level by No Mana

A few years ago No Mana’s music popped up on my Spotify discovery, and I quickly went through his catalog to see if the rest of his music was good. I was not disappointed and have been a fan ever since. On Valentine’s day this year he released his first full album, Secret Level 


The entire album consists of progressive and electro house. Since it is essentially all the same style, it took me a little longer to get into, but once it had sunk its teeth into me, I couldn’t stop listening. It’s a great album for listening to while you are working out or dancing around the house.  

The album leads off with the title track. “Secret Level,” co-written with Chipzel. Immediately, we are greeted with No Mana’s signature 16-bit sounds echoing from side to side. Throughout, there are layers upon layers of bleeps and catchy melodies.  

In January, “Strangers,” featuring Jantine, was released ahead of the album. The driving stabs compliment the vocals well, and it has a classic progressive house feel that reminds me of the early 2000s. One of my favorite tracks from the album is “Only Noise,” featuring Voicians. It has a nice heavy bass line and plenty of reverse echo vocals that accentuate the different buildups and drops.  

The stuttering synths help to create “Bed of Stars,” yet another example of a solid progressive house track. The layers of echoing synths slowly build up and dissipate as each new melody is introduced, all the while looping the same vocal line, as it seeps in and out, adding to the transitions.  

“Distance” is a track on the harder side of things, which has a fantastic bassline accompanied by warped synths that sound like an electrical board exploding. The buzzing bass in “Bottle Service” creates a good foundation for the chopped vocals to bounce on top of. I particularly enjoy the sound design around the percussion of this track. There are a lot of subtle build ups that add to the tension.  

No Mana does a great job in creating space in “Special Move,” among the reverberating chopped up sounds and reversing basslines. “Something About You” is another driving track with a fuzzy bass to keep you dancing throughout.  

 “Fragile Human,” by No Mana & EDDIE, may be my favorite track on the album. The vocals, leads, and pads remind me of Kaskade's “Move For Me” in all the right ways. “VVVR” concludes the album right with a nice balance between hard and melodic. The melody floats along with the chopped up pitched vocals until the bass comes smashing back in. 

Even though a lot of the tracks have very similar feels, they are all refined and will hold up through more than a few listens. At times, I felt like some of the music was lacking, and I realized that most of these tracks are dancefloor ready and would fit well mixed with another track for lengthy periods of time. It took some time to grow on me but once it did I found myself wanting to listen to it every time I worked out or went for a walk. No Mana has a very clean production style and Secret Level is a great first album that seems like it was long overdue considering how much music he puts out on a regular basis. 

You can listen to Secret Level on Spotify.

Killa Chris has been DJing in Nashville since 2010. Finding good music has always been a passion of Killa Chris’s. Every week he is sharing some of the newest tracks from popular producers and unknown artists from all over the world with readers at 

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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