Saturday, 8 June 2013

Martin Del Carpio - X

Album review by

"An album about lost love and sexual decadence" is what we're dealing with on this latest release from New York-based artist Martin Del Carpio, who is also known simply as M, but we're guessing it's not the guy who had the hit with 'Pop Muzik' back in 1979. He may not even have been born then. So, New York-based, but possibly not originally from The Big Apple, he has after all, previously recorded an album in Spanish. That said, it's a cosmopolitan place so we won't rule it out. It all points to a slight enigmatic air to the man, and this crosses over into his music too, definitely on new album 'X' which was made with British producer Jamie Muffett.

The overriding sound is that of electro-pop, however it's not quite as straightforward as that. We have high-tempo tracks that seem engineered for the dancefloor, especially the gritty 'Anon', There are also songs here that are more organic, although the constant use of electronic instruments as well as the production stop anything from being described as "rock". The reasonably traditional structure of 'Antihero' for example; the slower, almost acoustic 'Murmur Of The Heart' and the dreamy 'Dream Boy' which sounds like it's from a different artist altogether but is quite lovely; 'Suddenly Last Summer' is another anomaly on an often surprising album, a really good mixture of indie and pop, it's what purists would call a conventional song, but it works brilliantly.

Then there are those in between, like the eerie, '70s electronica of 'Afterglow' which dabbles in krautrock; 'TheSilentsWereGolden' mixes crunching guitars with beats and a chanted vocal; the supercharged folktronica of 'Blow Job' and final track 'Louisiana', by which point Martin Del Capo has entirely ditched the electro-pop that he began the album with and ends up with something closer in spirit to Americana. 'X' is one crazy album, not because the music itself is particularly "out there", it's not, but it's such an odd journey which takes you from the dancefloor to the campfire. Albums which are compiled from more than one genre (besides compilations of course) can often sound like a mess of scatterbrained ideas. The opposite is true here, and 'X' works because of, not in spite of, the variety of ideas on display.

Martin Del Carpio's website

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