Arca has today confirmed details of his second full-length album for Mute. Titled Mutant, the album will be released on 20 November 2015. It will be available on CD, download and as a double LP, and again features artwork from long-time collaborator and friend Jesse Kanda.
Watch the video for ‘EN’, directed by Arca, below:
Where Arca’s previous release Xen (2014) was introspective, Mutant is outwardly emboldened. Dedicated to and coloured by the important people in Arca’s life, Mutant illustrates the continuing mutations catalysed by loved ones: friends, family, acquaintances. Arca morphs for them and because of them. Both releases are contortionist shape-shifters, but where Xen asked us to meet her in her world, Mutant comes out to meet us in the light. Mutant is suggestively agape, embracing multiple sensualities with refreshing softness. Jesse Kanda’s organic cover art, luminous where Xen’s was shrouded, is a reflection of this.
In the artist’s words: ‘Mutant is about sensuality and impulsiveness as escape routes out of rigidity. Softness as a weapon when the mind attacks itself.’ Mutations in the records’ textures parallel the malleability of identity; tension is harmonised by openness and the inclusiveness of transformation. Pride is taken in deformity, innocence, distortion and vulnerability: traits often ostracised as undesirable. Themes that have animated Arca’s work – tension, polarities, playfulness, eroticism, mutability – have been refracted into newer, more nuanced shades. Fluctuation, in-betweenness, intimacy and chaos are celebrated.
The title track softens the space between abrasion and enlightenment, morphing from snarling aggression to elusive vapour, the atmosphere shifting at unexpected moments. Its impulsive video consists of an unchoreographed first and single take of Arca dancing. The attached self-portraits of Arca are comparably raw. ‘Anger’ is celebratory and carnival-esque, while ‘Faggot’ concludes with rhythmic allusions to the title track from Xen. The dripping sounds of ‘Umbilical’, fused with the title’s connotations of birth, clash with digital static. ‘Enveloped’ is a label suggestive of overwhelming but comforting containment, yet the track itself feels liberated, with warped strings crawling from the uniform rhythm in the piece’s latter moments. ‘Vanity’, ‘Snakes’ and ‘Soichiro’ are personal and intimate sweltering rainforests of sound. Buds open as tracks unfold, petals of the darkest reds and most vivid blues bloom. Deep roots of bass crawl through the earth beneath the record, anchoring each organism. The only essential consistency between the tracks is a refusal to sit still.
The constant liminality of Mutant is hard to pin down; something seen out of the corner of one’s eye that has moved elsewhere in the time it takes to bring it into focus.
Watch the video for Soichiro here.
To mark the release of his highly anticipated debut album Xen (out today on Mute), Arca has revealed a new collaboration with Jesse Kanda. The stunning visual is soundtracked by Xen album opener ‘Now You Know’ and is the latest in a long line of collaborations between Arca and Kanda.
Meanwhile. Arca is set to play a series of European tour dates this year, including a UK show at London’s ICA on 27th November. The shows will be a further development of Arca’s relationship with Kanda, who first joined Arca live for a visual interpretation of &&&&& at New York’s MoMA PS1 in 2013 and will accompany him at all of the shows.
ARCA TOUR DATES
27th November – ICA, London
28th November – Rotonde, Brussels
1st December – Point Ephemere, Paris
4th December – OT301, Amsterdam
5th December – Kantine/Berghain, Berlin
Venezuelan producer Alejandro Ghersi, aka Arca, has shared the video for “Thievery”, taken from his debut album, Xen, which is out on November 4th 2014 via Mute. The video features Xen, a digitally-rendered, gender-ambiguous character who Ghersi calls a fictional alter ego, dancing in front of the camera. Video by Jesse Kanda.