Published Oct 28, 2015The Halloween-adjacent release date for this album is well timed; Romantic Psychology 1 presents listeners with a house of haunted synths. Darren J. Cunningham dons the Levantis moniker and, working like Dr. Frankenstein, the modulars leap to life in his gloomy laboratory. These 11, mostly brief songs display a ghostly consciousness: the arrangements are skeletal, the melodies are undead and beats, murky and earthen, sound buried alive.
All spooky wordplay aside though, Romantic Psychology 1 is a fantastic effort for the dark electronic genre. The album, apparently influenced by "Nigredo and possession of the shadow," is the kind of work that needs to be experienced immersively, in order, as the ghoulish charm would be lost in the shuffling process. It's not a drastic departure from the work of UK producer Actress, but with a darker aesthetic and somehow more minimal; Levantis builds Romantic Psychology 1 with guttural tones. The second track captures digitized machinery in sleep-mode, while songs like "Stained Glass" and "Jamaican Greek Style" seem to thrive inside an 8-bit universe.
Like so many great horror films, Levantis seems to delight in themes of the unknown. Best of all, the album title suggests that a sequel is imminent. (Technicolour / Ninja Tune)