“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Today, the sense of beautiful in my soul was awoken by something different, unique, and truly wondrous. An ethereal musical landscape painted with emotions on a windblown gossamer landscape. The subject of today’s review is the album Revolving Maze by the two man musical project Involved.
Formed in late 2012, Involved is an international effort between Joe Dorsey from Tennessee, USA, and Reivilo Enoignor from Pyongyang, Korea. Dorsey does keyboard duties for Ocean Architecture, a progressive metal outfit out of Tennessee whose debut album made a serious splash (and a hell of an impression on this reviewer) in 2012. He also plays guitar and keyboards for Until Sunrise, a prog/post rock band out of Frederick, Maryland. Enoignor plays keyboards for Battlestations, an experimental/post rock band based in Brussels, Belgium. For involved, the two gentlemen bring all their talents in keyboards and musical production to the table to create something that is truly unique.
Now I feel the effect of the music here is the most important side of it. There is no story to follow, nor any mission to be fulfilled, but only an atmosphere being created. In the first minute or so, I was trying to wrap my head around what was going on, but as they ever so subtly layered the sounds upon each other, they dragged me unsuspectingly into the music. Soon I was in its embrace, akin to being in a warm bed on a very cold morning. Awake, but so lost in the warmth that the rest of the world didn’t really exist. Using a central keyboard theme to each of the eleven tracks as a base, the two musicians work their magic in myriad magical ways to give a soul to the simple beat that each piece is constructed around. Each song is like a segment of life, with a birth, a development and rise, a phase of maturity and strength, and a slow fading into the ether. Through the multitude of keyboard and electronic instruments, some traditional instruments, and some added atmospheric vocals, Dorsey and Enoignor skillfully layer together eleven unique landscapes to get lost in.
The range of music isn’t limited to soft though, some of the songs build in a rather industrial fashion, not to a point of brashness or anything like that, but they have a pointed intensity to them. Patient is one such track, bringing to mind the actual process of being patient. The inner turmoil of waiting for whatever event to happen, the rambling thoughts and wandering emotions that go along with the wait, the whole vibe and feel of being patient, is transcribed musically, and brilliantly so. Inner Spaces seems to jounce playfully around until settling into a groove of beauty, only to jounce out again. Tumult has a repressed quality about it, being smooth on the surface with a sensed furor underneath that never seems to come out. Each of the songs plays out like this, but I’m sure the experience will be different for each individual. Like a song with loosely written lyrics, Involved leaves it up to the listener to decide where they want the music to take them. Living up to their name, they make the listener involved, in an ever so intimate fashion.
Through solid musicianship, on both the parts of Dorsey and Enoignor, Involved has breached new ground. Their skilled playing and production paired with an immensely imaginative vision translated into fifty minutes of music that seems designed to find that beautiful put into each of us.