Arca

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Lots of hype around him. I think I might actually prefer what other artists get out of him/do with his beats (eg kanye) and I was ready to dismiss him as someone more interesting to read interviews with than actually listen to, based on the few tracks ive heard, but based on one listen to the Xen album (against the noise of london transport), hes pretty good actually, if not quite as individual as a lot of journalists seem to think. in fact, im not sure why hes been plucked to work with someone like bjork and not say, someone like hud mo or illum sphere.

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 11:13 (three years ago) Permalink

actually, its probably exactly that sense of him not having that identifiable an identity that makes him a better collaborator than producer in his own name...

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 11:16 (three years ago) Permalink

I still need to delve deeper into Xen beyond my first couple listens but this guy is suuuuper-identifiable to my ears. I find his own music really difficult, like, this is extremely difficult music! I'm so excited that people are into it

fgti, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 12:47 (three years ago) Permalink

difficult? you must listen to the last big juss album.

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 12:51 (three years ago) Permalink

Hmm there is a difference that I can't express at the moment about how why wholly aggressive music is less dissonant/difficult than stuff like Xen but I'll have to think about it more

fgti, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 12:55 (three years ago) Permalink

i guess you mean more complex... i need to listen to it more to really see if it is. but the songs did strike me as being 'well-developed', internally, rather than just beats with stuff piled on, which is initially what i imaged it being. theres an interesting sense of dynamics.

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 12:59 (three years ago) Permalink

he does seem to have a recognisable synth sound too...

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 13:13 (three years ago) Permalink

I've only dipped my toes in his album twice, but I love his sound. It sits nicely next to OPN, but that might just be my own reference. I like that it's complex and that it challenges me to put effort into unraveling it.

Oh, I think Philip Sherburne's excellent review deserves a mention.

a pleasant little psychedelic detour in the elevator (Amory Blaine), Wednesday, 5 November 2014 13:29 (three years ago) Permalink

To my ears Arca has next-to-nothing in common with Sherbourne's reference points, or OPN for that matter, I hear more connection to noisier stuff like Eric Copeland

fgti, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 14:05 (three years ago) Permalink

This new thing is not a genre, exactly; call it a style, a sensibility, a veneer. It has to do with computers and digital sound and digital imagery. It has to do with representation and malleability, the idea that sound and image can be stretched and twisted and copied ad nauseam. It revels in digital gloss and grit, in bent tones, in smeared and frozen reverb tails. Extreme compression, schizoid pith: rap vocals broken down to monosyllables, a single "Huh" as metonym for everything that's happened between the Sugarhill Gang and now. History reduced to a USB stick

Haven't heard this yet but this doesn't strike me as radically different from the music of, what, the last five years?

Matt DC, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 14:13 (three years ago) Permalink

"History reduced to a USB stick" yes, but the rest is an accurate description, there aren't a lot of windows into Arca's process, it does sound like alien music

fgti, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 14:23 (three years ago) Permalink

Def prefer &&&&&, struggling slightly to 'get into' Xen, I think I enjoy the sounds of his more 'quieter' tracks (ie. Coin and Obelisk) from &&&&& which don't have a presence on Xen.

nxd, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 14:40 (three years ago) Permalink

Haven't heard Xen yet, outside of the two singles/videos (I'm still waiting for my copy to come on), but surely some of the reason why he's getting so much press outside of the record of collaborations (fka Twigs, Kanye, upcoming Bjork and Kelela etc) is the visuals? Not to distract from the music in any way, but he's I think he's extraordinarily fortunate to be working with Jesse Kanda- they have such an immediately identifiable and well-developed aesthetic together.

You guys are caterpillar (Telephone thing), Wednesday, 5 November 2014 22:04 (three years ago) Permalink

So far finding the Sherburne review more interesting than the album itself. The lack of rhythms you can lock into means it all just washes over me.

Mercer Finn, Sunday, 9 November 2014 19:41 (three years ago) Permalink

I suspect he may turn out to be a better producer/collaborator than a lead artist - without a vocalist to give the whole thing shape I don't find his music particularly sonically or compositionally interesting. What all the artists Sherburne lists have in common (and I'd stick the Ford + Lopatin and James Ferraro albums in there as well) is this sense that someone's turned on all the lights really brightly. I'm used to electronic music feeling either noctural or sunny, there's a really stark neon glare to all of these artists, with varying degrees of success.

Matt DC, Sunday, 9 November 2014 19:54 (three years ago) Permalink

i wish i liked Xen more, mostly it makes me want to go back to &&&&& and the Stretch EPs (haven't heard the first one).

but surely some of the reason why he's getting so much press outside of the record of collaborations (fka Twigs, Kanye, upcoming Bjork and Kelela etc) is the visuals?

idk, but listening to the record it certainly sounds like it was made for visuals. it reminds me of listening to Autechre more than anything else.

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:31 (three years ago) Permalink

i wish there were more tracks like 'Bullet Chained', that could be on the Sd Laika record.

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:32 (three years ago) Permalink

;_; that piece is exactly what I've wanted to say to so many people

fgti, Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:11 (three years ago) Permalink

I know, it's just wonderful isn't it?

a pleasant little psychedelic detour in the elevator (Amory Blaine), Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:40 (three years ago) Permalink

except for the Satie to Debussy and Ravel stuff. Those guys were aware of each other, but in no way would I classify them as "disciples", and for that matter Arca's music isn't "ornate" in the manner (let alone the level) of Debussy or Ravel.

Dominique, Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:02 (three years ago) Permalink

That was no good nor the "there were no vibe-y composers before Satie since Bingen" but the point wasn't hinging on those non-facts

fgti, Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:24 (three years ago) Permalink

I guess it would be Hildegard not Bingen but

fgti, Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:26 (three years ago) Permalink

I've been thinking a lot about the necessity for small-business-model formats to support queer music and that this guy was able to illustrate that point without either talking about "queer" or "small-business-model" was really nice

fgti, Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:27 (three years ago) Permalink

spent a bit more time with this. it has taken me a while to really get a handle on it, which is down really to how elusive it is. its weird but for all the 'dark' and 'ugly' descriptions of it, xen never *feels* all that dark or ugly. i can hear where its meant to, and its well rendered, but maybe because of the digital slickness of his sound (or maybe his own aesthetic), even the supposedly ugly parts sound too well produced to ever really make me feel like say, certain dark/nasty dubstep or D&B or grime did/does. none of the darkness sounds that original either really, the main parts of the album that register with me are those which are quiet and sad. also i can barely remember anything from this when its over, apart from a few motifs here and there, its all about the sound design really. not sure what else there is to it. weird to hear the dem bow/reggaeton rhythms in there too, was not expecting that lol.

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 09:02 (two years ago) Permalink

the sound design is nice in places but it's really hollow emotionally and unmemorable and by the end feels a bit pointless, just stylistic exercises

lex pretend, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 09:59 (two years ago) Permalink

I've only given this a quick listen but first impressions are that it's like an album of really impressive dance intros - all build up and break down and spaces in between. I mean this in a positive way. This idea of 'filler' as being central to the work when taken out of context has been explored by Soft Pink Truth (with Drew's black metal interludes mix from this year) and Lee Gamble on his Diversions album. I do need to go back and take a closer listen though.

Piss-Up Artist (dog latin), Wednesday, 3 December 2014 10:22 (two years ago) Permalink

exercises, sure, but pretty good style all the same. the tracks go all of nowhere, theyre like these dainty little daubs that arrive and dissapear and leave zero mark, but theres something weirdly interesting about them while theyre there (though hes not really the only one doing this kind of thing right now). but i do listen to the album and wonder why all the potentially interesting ideas arent aligned to anything bigger and moreover, why people dont seem to mind that. glad hes working with people who have personality - my main thought while listening to xen was 'bjork would know what to do with this'.

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 10:39 (two years ago) Permalink

though actually now im wondering why bjork isnt working with actress too.

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 10:40 (two years ago) Permalink

i don't trust björk to do anything interesting with anything these days and sort of feel arca's hollowness is exactly what she doesn't need

agree that a lot of producers these days seem to have gained reputations on the basis of half-sketched ideas that don't do anything bigger

lex pretend, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 10:43 (two years ago) Permalink

I hear it as a kind of foregrounded ambient music really. Part of the problem seems to be knowing what to 'do' with it, possibly?

Piss-Up Artist (dog latin), Wednesday, 3 December 2014 10:50 (two years ago) Permalink

its like ambient shards isnt it? kind of like a series of inconsequential slivers, that are *there* for a bit and then they slip away.

prob said it already, but i think arcas hollowness is only so until he works with someone who has something to say through it. he has no discernible personality but gets better when matched with someone who does (am only basing this on the kanye collabo really). obv bjork hasnt done anything esp good in a while but im thinking some fresh blood (esp someone who seems quite malleable) might do the trick.

StillAdvance, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 11:06 (two years ago) Permalink

oh yeah cf how i don't especially care about evian christ's work by himself but a lot of the time he works with others he comes up with something pretty special for them

lex pretend, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 11:13 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Xen finally clicked for me as a soundtrack to the self-service car wash :)

virtuoso thigh slapper (Jordan), Thursday, 15 January 2015 21:26 (two years ago) Permalink

What all the artists Sherburne lists have in common (and I'd stick the Ford + Lopatin and James Ferraro albums in there as well) is this sense that someone's turned on all the lights really brightly. I'm used to electronic music feeling either noctural or sunny, there's a really stark neon glare to all of these artists, with varying degrees of success.
--Matt DC

huge truth bomb

flopson, Friday, 16 January 2015 03:21 (two years ago) Permalink

Some of the purple sound from c2009 gives me that vibe too.

this is just a saginaw (dog latin), Friday, 16 January 2015 09:34 (two years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
nine months pass...

I didn't really like Xen but Mutant is connecting with me a lot easier. I wouldn't go as far as claiming there's melodies and rhythms on this new one, but it is feeling a lot easier to understand.

boxedjoy, Friday, 13 November 2015 16:38 (two years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

man this new mixtape

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Tuesday, 5 July 2016 22:05 (one year ago) Permalink

https://soundcloud.com/arca1000000/entranas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE6OjTiMY3o

IGLOOGHOST 2 days ago
HE'S GOT THE RANGE.

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Tuesday, 5 July 2016 22:07 (one year ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

nu Arca album incoming
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1QSgdMPI5g

mh 😏, Friday, 24 February 2017 00:03 (nine months ago) Permalink

Really into these new songs. They go well with the new Xiu Xiu too.

change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 25 February 2017 14:40 (eight months ago) Permalink

Agree with your first statement. I have nothing to say about your second because I have nothing to say about Xiu Xiu.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 25 February 2017 14:47 (eight months ago) Permalink

same

mh 😏, Saturday, 25 February 2017 19:37 (eight months ago) Permalink

I have nothing to say and I am saying it

ogmor, Saturday, 4 March 2017 14:09 (eight months ago) Permalink

on a related note, Jesse Kanda, Arca's visual collaborator, released an ep

mh 😏, Saturday, 4 March 2017 14:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

And another new song/video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WKWZ9y-dvU

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:23 (eight months ago) Permalink

Looking forward to this album, but not in love with the singles so far. Not as enamored with his singing voice as everyone else seems to be; would've preferred an expansion on what he did on Entrañas (which was overlooked last year), but I suppose that would've just resulted in more of the same. I think Xen is a masterpiece, and Mutant merely good, but the latter seemed to get better reviews. Anyone else agree?

Handsome Bookor, Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

I think I still prefer Mutant but have really come to appreciate Xen, and hear its influence in a lot of other artists.

I have nothing to say about your second because I have nothing to say about Xiu Xiu.

I'm surprised, I would think you would like them - is it because you never delved, or is there some beef?

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

Nothing major but while I vaguely recall some songs early on that were okay enough, the guy's persona is increasingly irritating and nothing I've heard in recent years raises more than a shrug. Kinda defines 'try too hard' in my view.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 16 March 2017 17:26 (eight months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

i've been enjoying the new record!

joshywinty (josh), Monday, 10 April 2017 23:11 (seven months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

https://www.residentadvisor.net/reviews/20968

reeeally want to see an arca show. this sounds great

a landlocked exclave (mh), Thursday, 4 May 2017 04:37 (six months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.