A Mute Records release, Arca’s 2nd LP, Mutant, is something else. Alejandro Ghersi is the 25 year old Venezuelan musician and producer behind Arca. He has developed an experimental electronic sound and touch that has been well received, in regards to his first release under Arca, Xen, and his production work with FKA Twigs, Björk, Kanye, and Dean Blunt. Mutant as a follow up to Xen does exactly what a listener of Ghersi’s would want it to do; it gets weirder.
Even in context of the experimental slew of artists signed to Mute, the chaos of Mutant is otherworldly. That’s telling in the cover and the album title, but it will still smack you upside the head when you’re just three tracks (of twenty) into the album and losing yourself in it’s odd, empty depth. It’s enthralling, providing one heck of a listening experience, and transitory, feeling like the plains of Kansas in the snow in it’s slowness, but abrasiveness. It has the power to suddenly sweep you off track and whiten your knuckles.
Mutant is as grating as it is soothing, with sharp electronic dissonance that bleeds into gentle, buzzing hollow moments, both deeply emotional and intertwined but tinged with a strange, harsh melancholy. It’s an album that draws you over the coals. Ghersi’s sounds alters with each track, developing spacey, staccato flourishes then Latin dance melodies, machine gun percussion, and distant, etheral piano. It’s an incredibly diverse sonic experience. Often times, in tracks like “Anger,” sounds are deliberately patched together to liken the turn of a dial, trying to fit in as many intriguing experiences as possible.
This album isn’t for a wide audience, it simply isn’t tangible enough. In no way, though, is Mutant lost or intangible to the detail oriented ear. Ghersi knows to the split second what he is doing with each abrasive buzz and soothing melody on the expansive Mutant.
Recommended If You Like: Swans, Dean Blunt, Flying Lotus, Burial, Forest Swords, Oneohtrix Point Never