Album Review: Arca – Mutant

Delving into the Venezuelan born producer’s musical ‘brainstorm’, explores the fragmented sound of Arca’s sophomore record

arca mutant album

★★★★☆

Having worked with the likes of FKA twigs, Kanye West and Björk amongst others, Venezuelan born producer Alejandro Ghersi offers up another helping of twisted electronica in the form of mutant, a follow up to last years excellent Xen.

Like last years full length debut, Mutant follows a similar trend of familiar sounds crushed, mashed and melded into one hell of a tour de force. There’s no consistent beat to be found here, only the musical equivalent of a brainstorm, different squiggles and intrusions of sound plastering every track with a refreshing, organised chaos.

Any sign of conventionality in Mutant is only present when it’s being manipulated, scattered and driven through soundscapes that are immediately satisfying to the adventurous listener. There’s no question that from the first track ‘Alive’ this is an invitation into the head of a producer that’s carved out something quite unique. Only in today’s world one would think that an artist of this persuasion could make the crossover so quickly into mainstream production and find such success. There’s an undeniable flavour of angry viscosity to Arca’s sound, a stew of jumbled electro-synths and skewered patterns of percussion but it all works.

Put a metronome to any of these tracks however, and you’ll struggle to find pace. It is these nonsensensical sounds making sense that unfolds over the course of the album’s 20 tracks, like a train of thought so incisively capturing moods and tone. Tracks like ‘Front Load’ chop and rework a familiar serene vibe whilst others like ‘En’ grind techno-like rhythms under a fluttering arrangement of clustered percussion in a way that sounds more like an invasion of the piece rather than a part of it.

After the infiltration of electronic music into the top 40, this album serves as a reminder that there will always be an element of the unexpected when the tools are in the hand of a producer like Arca, who here produces a fantastic release.

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