Future pop that’s been twisted out of all recognition.
The most common label attached to music made by 27-year-old Venezuelan Alejandro Ghersi, better known as Arca, is “experimental”. But that term barely scratches the surface of what the producer, songwriter, DJ, and engineer is capable of. Arca is one of the few artists pushing at the boundaries – of taste, possibility, and composition – and over three increasingly avant-garde albums, has emerged as one of the unique voices in contemporary pop and electronic music. Ever inventive, his subversive streak has moved beyond mere music; teaming up with Jesse Kanda, he’s produced a series of mind-melting visuals, videos, and live shows that swing from horror to surrealism and back again.
Dip into any one of his albums, and you’ll soon reason why he’s been so in demand as a collaborator, never mind as an artist in his own right. Kanye West, Björk, and FKA twigs are just some of his peers who’ve asked him to sprinkle some studio magic on their work. Acidic drips of distortion, clanking beats, and ominous rumbles permeate his songs, a kaleidoscope of instruments and noise ebbing and flowing like a tide. His voice, at times angelic, at others a barely audible hum or a collection of syllables, floats through these digital soundscapes; an otherworldly presence that sounds like it’s been beamed in from another dimension. There isn’t anyone else willing to twist and warp music quite this way, and no one who comes close to matching Arca as a singular artist lighting the way towards the future.