Best Albums of 2019: Aluben Noiro ‘Levitate State’

Levitate State (Atlantic Jaxx)

I had no idea until recently that Atlantic Jaxx, the electronica label owned by UK house duo Basement Jaxx, occasionally puts out downtempo and ambient releases. Levitate State is a fresh and astonishingly accomplished cinematic spacemusic album by Aluben Noiro, the alias of young Jaxx in-house engineer and producer Duncan F. Brown. He calls this debut album a labour of love, and it shows. The music glows from within, with lovely harmonic drones and progressions forged with assorted synths, organ, piano and hovering choral textures. It has a subtle cosmic power that’s hard to articulate yet naggingly familiar, with echoes of the Serge synth masterpieces of classic West Coast ambient by Michael Stearns and Kevin Braheny. Although it’s not derivative – even today, relatively few UK artists are familiar with the West Coast school – it does somehow tap into the same expansive vein of beatless, droning, quasi-symphonic electronica. Levitate State is being promoted by the label as relaxation music but I really think that undersells it. It’s a must-hear for fans of classic spacemusic, as well as lovers of beatless psyambient and authentic new age. By the way, “Aluben Noiro” is “Orion Nebula”…spelt backwards. 

Best Albums of 2019 Reviews Index

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