Involution is an experimentally creative collection of tracks composed by Martin Del Carpio during a time of extreme human sadness and loss. It’s a conceptual project with a definitive series of threads throughout, but even with that – each piece is unique and unpredictable in its own way.
Intro sets a particular tone, a soft but gritty, vintage, industrial crackle creates a brief ambiance around you. Afterwards, as Dolphox smashes into play, the softness is swiftly overtaken by the intensity and weight of those later terms. This piece is hard-hitting, reaching out through the speakers and surrounding you in a manic, almost overwhelming manner. When you think about the concept, that of death and the idea that we are all – that our souls – are pure energy – the soundscape certainly hits you in a relevant way – like a wall of energy; an unstoppable force.
Redirecting the aura quite significantly is a piece called Phosphorous. There’s something incredibly beautiful about this that allows you to escape into the moment and let your thoughts wander freely. Alma follows and keeps delicate ambiance as the backdrop but also brings through a poetically observational layer of spoken – again provoking a certain level of thought naturally connected to the underlying sentiment. It’s entrancing to listen to, intriguing, and quite inspiring.
At almost seven minutes long, Alma grows to be something of a dreamlike journey through space – bringing together elements of retro electronica and those of a more organic make-up; namely that drum-line, and that human voice – slowly becoming more and more disjointed. As stated earlier, nothing about this project is predictable. To fully embrace it and submit to the journey is the best way to take it on.
There’s a detectable level of darkness or fear to this album, not in an unsettling sense, but certain vibes that come through feel uncertain and lost in desperation or melancholy. Camera Obscura is a strong example – the Hail Mary verses whispered behind the music have a sense of hiding about them; the presentation is isolated and again provocative.
Say A Prayer comes afterwards and brings an element of melody and spacious musicality to the experience. There’s a touch of hopefulness to the sound, to the notes, but again the lyrics linger somewhere between optimism and impossibility. All of which fits precisely with that mindset we often fall into when great loss inevitably impacts our lives. This song stands out at this point for its melody and the upfront, intimate nature of the leading voice.
Musically the track witchery brings through a brilliant beat and an atmospheric ambiance that works in a hypnotically calming manner. Again, the details are consistently interesting – certain sounds and samples remind you of the ideas behind it all.
November (Black Rose) emerges in striking contrast and again utilises melody – a gorgeously folk-like melody and picked riff – to present a poetic and heartfelt, hopeful piece of writing and performance.
In a brilliant way, this album in full seems to represent the roller-coaster-like emotional stages that come with personal turmoil and loss. There are vast changes from one moment to the next, and always these deep thoughts and considerations run through it all – the memories, the regret, the meaning, the matter, the depth and the pointlessness, all at war or in perfect harmony with each other (depending on the day, on how you look at it).
I only want you to love me (Letter to the Father) is another spoken word piece that appears as notably revealing and again fuses that human touch with something electronically charged, robotic even. The words feel deeply personal, as suggested by the title, and this makes it connect in a captivating way.
Bringing the experience to an end is the aptly titled Ashes. The raw and almost live-performance style of this last song offers a valuable touch of realism. The song feels like a huge moment in the artist’s life, it’s beautiful and vulnerable at the same time, and the words offer the absolute truth of the hearts and minds involved. It’s a minimalist yet powerful way to finish. The final few moments sound like electricity humming in the distance. And then everything is over.
This project seems extremely real and unreal all at once. Martin Del Carpio has poured his reality into these songs and compositions, and the result is something that connects on a profound level if you let it; that’s undeniably true to the human experience. Simultaneously though, the sounds are so out-there and experimental, that the human experience feels distinctly detached from it all. There’s very little, if anything, to compare this with right now. The artistry of it is mesmerising.