The Deadmau5 protégé and Mau5trap and Armada artist is definitely on the top of his game right now. He’s been putting out a steady stream of work since emerging under the No Mana guise with his ‘(x)UP EP’ series (now at 9UP), which has all been leading to the ultimate release of his much-awaited new EP ‘Game Over’, released under Mau5trap. Hit play while we dive into a spectrum of sounds in this 6-track release.
Right off the start, we’re met with a heavy build of bit-crushed vocal loops and charged-up ethereal synths that No Mana is known for, rising into a signature driving bass and slapping four-to-the-floor kicks derived from tech house. Aptly named ‘Nostalgia Drive’, this rise-and-fall balance of delicate melodies stacked atop sub-shaking bass tones is reminiscent of early Mau5trap works and is found throughout the rest of the extended play album.
Another noticeable similarity is the track length - the six-track EP comes in at just under 42 minutes. The shortest song on the album is the 5-minute lead single ‘Lethargy’ featuring Cafcat, one of my favourite and arguably one of the more creative tracks that he’s made so far as No Mana. Layers of plucky chords and bright stabs weave through one another in this call-to-arms to fight and ‘resist this lethargy’.
What we do find different about this album compared to previous EP’s is the more prominent feature of vocalists on his productions; 4 of the 6 tracks have a singer on them, all being women. A previously featured artist on his big room banger ‘Restart’, singer Zashanell links up with No Mana to supply vocals on the progressive-driven track ‘Over & Over’. In this uplifting beat, her airy voice floats over bouncing synths with messages begging for you to ‘Take my hand, trust in me, I’ll never let you down’.
With a larger focus on rising progressive melodies and vocal-driven tracks than past projects, ‘Game Over’ is No Mana’s most commercial release to date. It is still a process stepping out from behind the label of being ‘another Deadmau5 sound-alike’, but these six creations show the continued growth of that transformation while showcasing his vast range of sound design as a producer. He only started performing live last September, but the game is far from over for No Mana.
Follow his socials under the handle @ihavenomanas to stay up-to-date on new releases and tour dates.