Martin Del Carpio is a music artist who seems to enjoy hopping genres and themes from album to album. In 2007 he released In Absentia, which according to his Bandcamp page is a personal political album that mashes up punk and experimental rock. Pequeno Pionero was released in 2008 and is an acoustic based Latin fusion album that is sung entirely in Spanish. The record we will be delving into today entitled X is a dark electronic pop album that explores lost love and sexual decadence. Suffice it to say his fan base probably doesn't expect the same thing twice.
The production on X is strong, varied and original enough to keep your attention throughout. Like his albums Del Carpio doesn’t stick with one palette for very long. Album opener “Anon” omits dark almost sensual sounds that you can dance to. The bass provides the variation of root notes while a electric drum beat fills your speakers with energy and an ominous pad creates the atmosphere. A clean reverb laced guitar is present in the mix but strategically placed in order to enhance certain sections. Del Carpio doesn’t have a voice that necessarily jumps at you but works against the context of the music. He sings, “Atomic lover you take it all in across another you sway to the rhythm moving deeper there's nothing left for you there's no one here for you.”
“Murmur Of The Heart” is the first deviation that sounds nothing like the dark synth pop based music before it. It is haunting at times, void of percussion and relies on piano and acoustic as the main instruments. Del Carpio delivers one of his best vocal performances on this track.
A clear highlight and arguably the best song on the album is “Suddenly.” Interestingly enough this song sounds optimistic, full of life and is an anomaly compared to the other material. Del Carpio has another inspired vocal performance with thoughtful, poignant lyrics. He sings, “beauty fades is what they say the same face that isn't there but deep down we are all the same Monty you're one of us...”
X may be a bit scattered and inconsistent but there are some splendid moments here. Del Carpio seems bursting with so many ideas that he doesn’t know what to do with all of them. Luckily for us a majority of his ideas are worthy of your time.
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