Niveau Zero / Jasmine


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02_The Cross


Niveau Zero / Jasmine

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Two years after his "In_Sect" debut, Niveau Zero presents with "Jasmine" a very ambitious album in which he refines and improves the recipe which has made him one the highest regarded figures of European bass music. Still refusing to embrace any trend, he combines dubstep, metal, hip-hop and break-beats in an ensemble that not only stays coherent from start to finish, but constantly evolves, changes and keeps the listeners on the edge of their seats. A detailled, massive and towering display of inventivity and takent, "Jasmine" is the perfect studio-translation of what makes Niveau Zero one of the most exciting act around.
Niveau Zero's 2009 debut, "In_Sect" (adn129) was this artist's first step outside of his home France, where he had already acquired a remarkable status, as well as a statement of intent: dubstep could be combined with other styles and escape its very rigid boundaries. Fast forward two years: Niveau Zero has played concerts all over the world, become one of the highest regarded European producers of hard-edged bass music, and now presents his sophomore album, an ambitious effort in which he and his friends perfect their art and tear open for good all the limitations of their respective genres.
In times where dubstep is judged by many as having become stale and predictable, Niveau Zero showcases here with vigor that its basic components can still be used to write material which is genuinely exciting, musically satisfying and stylistically surprising. There are no pop mash-ups in "Jasmine", no half-baked drum'n'bass remixes and no hyped house beats. None of this is needed by Niveau Zero and his friends to bring blood on the dancefloor. May it be with the anthemic and highly melodic "The Cross" (co-written with Italy's great Aucan), the infectious and ever-changing broken beats of the title track or the emotionally-charged dowtenmpo "Permafrost" and "Aido", "Jasmine" translates on record the sheer enthusiasm at the core of Niveau Zero's highly praised live-sets: a very well executed pot-pourri of influences and sounds, used in a personal way, devoid of shortcuts and trends, the whole thing written with great care to both the listeners' intellect and the party-goers' feet.
Dark, blazing and still aerial: the black clouds rising on "Jasmine"'s cover artwork are a fitting metaphor for Niveau Zero's second album. Even when pairing with Dälek's Dr Oktopus (on "New Order") or remixing French's harccore metal-heads As They Burn, Niveau Zero manages to bring his music in movement. Never staying still, never repeating himself, and now taking a strong step upwards production-wise, Niveau Zero signs with "Jasmine" his so-far definitive album, a perfect concentrate of what has made him the essential figure he has become for everybody into challenging, heavy electronic music.

1. Rusty (featuring Dubsidia)
2. The Cross (featuring Aucan)
3. Permafrost
4. Forward (featuring Youtham, Ill Smith and Damned)
5. Jasmine
6. New Order (featuring Dr Oktopus, Elucid and John Morrison) 7. As They Burn: Distorted Rules (remix by Niveau Zero)
8. Aido
9. In_Sect (remix by The Unik)

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