Arca: Mutant (Mute) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, February 28th, 2021  




Nov 25, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Silently flitting between the light and dark of the mainstream and underground electronic music worlds, Arca has left a hauntingly frenzied stamp on releases as big as Kanye West's Yeezus as well as his own solo productions. However, up until this point, Arca's work has been one of introspection and intimacy; an aesthetic common in music that swells from the bedroom outwards. 2014's debut full-length, Xen, explored this idea of intimacy on a cold electronic level, all the while providing us with some of the most innovative beat structures this side of the Warp roster. Mutant, on the other hand, sees Alejandro Ghersi set his sights a little wider, encompassing broader soundscapes rather than vocalizing the intricacies of his sonic palette.

This foray into the unknown still bears classic Arca branding. Mutant is just as, if not even more so, erratic than anything we have heard previously from Ghersi. While Xen occasionally dealt a killer hook from what was otherwise beautifully organized chaos, the new LP is even more restrained in its willingness to display any regular beat structures, instead favoring brilliant horizon-spanning, skittering madness. Yet as with his debut, beneath it all is a discernible bedrock of solid classical grounding that occasionally peeks through, providing a theoretical foundation that can then be distorted and abused to no perceivable limit. Somehow, despite the maelstrom of sound and texture, Mutant never topples in to destruction. But perhaps the fact that it does teeter that much closer to the edge is the reason that it never quite matches its predecessor's more solid appeal. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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