Second full-length from Venezuelan producer Arca. It would be fair to say that he is a ‘hot’ producer these days, given that he played a reasonable co-production role on Bjork’s Vulnicura album this year. Mutant has 20 tracks of expansive electronics, including the remarkable ‘Vanity’ from earlier this year. On Mute.
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 19 November 2015
Arca is the man of the hour/year it seems. Having successfully helped Bjork make some captivating electronic weirdpop for her release earlier in the year and a lil stint with a certain Kanye West, he has now come through with another solo release, a year after the first. Prolific as well as lauded. Such praise can often overshadow the actual artform itself in a sort of media frenzy, or can cause artists to falter under the pressure, but the first two tracks have already passed and they have destroyed any possibility of that.
The Venezuelan has indeed made some mutants. On Mutant, we have the extreme side of Arca, featuring heavy, slicy synth tones, morphing noises on the edge of subtlety, and omnipresent melodics, all propped up by pristine and beautiful mixing that reminds me of OPN’s latest. Indeed, Lopatin and Alejandro Ghersi share the same penchant for emotive, almost epic melody heard through a digital maelstrom. Things get pretty rhythmically complex too, the stuttering, machine gun textures of title track ‘Mutant’ beaming messages to ‘Sinner’ about alien heartbeats - Raster Noton take note. Even the arrangements defy expectation, not succumbing to typical temptations such as ‘you must now keep this sound going into a constant tempo loop to be successful’. Nope. Caution, meet wind.
Gotta finish now, but wish I didn’t have to because this is long and amazing. It’s the sound of that person-thing on the cover, which Ian informs me that you can buy a figure of from somewhere. Not sure if I could handle that thing watching me eat breakfast but hey.
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