Plunging into a world of darkness and crystalline colors, Happiness, the latest album by Incentive, unfolds into many atmospheres of flowing emotion and depth. Seven lengthy tracks packed with complex definition, many industrial qualities and several noise-leaning instances slowly lead the listener into a strange abyss of comforting chaos. When plugging in with a quality listening method (quality headphones or speakers, very much recommended,) every tiny detail can be acknowledged, and quite frankly, it becomes quite hard not to increase the volume until the sound completely consumes the brain and mind.
Electronica seems like too much of a blanket term for the wide ranges and varieties that can be found in the realm of electronic music, and with Happiness, boundaries are pushed in ways to create entirely new human feelings that have no name to describe them precisely enough. Feelings of being engulfed in a Blade Runner universe, where industrialism has penetrated every aspect of existence, and feelings of complete ego loss that merges all life with an infinitely expanding reality. Something like Animals by Pink Floyd, but with a different genre altogether. At times like this, it becomes quite easy to see the constants and liaisons between genres; where emotion is the paramount center of understanding and not the sounds themselves.
Few moments feel a little bit out of context, and uncomfortable, but are intentionally conducive to the overall message of this record. “Trauma, Anxiety, & Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms” is a thoughtfully put together piece, as every piece found on this record, where uncomfortable moments reflect the emotional intention behind the art. Every single track seems to be a mirror into the human self according to their respective titles and general feel. The complexity of emotional response found here is not for the emotionally illiterate- or maybe that’s who will be truly shook up by the weight of this wonderful piece of art. Either way, this is not a land barren of softness and warmth, but a gentle lifting into complete awareness of expansion: Expansion of self, expansion of realization, and expansion of curiosity.
Incentive has remarkably reassembled universal human emotions into a thought expanding experience; one where the listener can’t help but lift their head to the sky and feel every molecule of air being breathed into their soul. For best results, give this one a listen at any time of the day, breathe deeply, and share yourself openly with the infiniteness of existence.
Written by Talia Plante
*Edited by Dominic Abate