Arca‚s music isn’t only characteristic for its anxious and aggresive synth sounds, but especially for deconstructing of our understanding of music in time and space. Thanks to his twisted playfullness and a touching story behind, he streches and distorts music particles to express his extraordinary nature and builds up volatil melodic and rhytmical patterns, that can vanish as fast as they appear.
His LP Xen is a big success and tonight’s Berghain was full to bursting. While enjoying the audiovisual show of Arca and his inseperable friend Jesse Kanda who’s responsible for the visual part, I noticed several things about the whole thing:
1. Arca’s a solid rapper.
Although his music on debut LP Xen or &&&&& mixtape is mostly instrumental, he’s not afraid of the microphone and live he can both sing aetheral soprano vocals or rap with a fiery urge.
2. He’s into latino rhythms.
Alejandro Ghersi comes from Venezuela and allows his roots to unobtrusively grow into his music. In tracks like Sisters, Slit Thru or Thievery, swaying percussive rhythms keep the tracks to stick together and not fragment in 1 000 different pieces that all head opposite directions.
3. He’s the next level queer
From Arca’s promo pictures, we can notice he’s into high boots and SM aesthetics (or not only aesthetics?!). But the whole live performance, including the screening, indicates that he’s partly Xen – a sexy but epicene female who transforms into a baby face of his borned alterego, partly a party queen who likes wearing skirts and party a young boy who started to feel confident in his own body and mind.
4. He’s mentally connected with Jesse Kanda,
whose stroboscopic phantasmagories embody Arca’s ambivalent feelings about his identity, and visually describe his music so vividly and accurately, that Arca’s abstract, yet evokative music sometimes feels like a soundtrack to those sick videos.
5. He likes to smell his arm pit.
Arca can be a progressive, extraordinary and skilled musician, but he’s a diva on stage. Even while rapping, he rahther puts his arm straight up in the air than makes characteristic broad gestures. Other times, he poses like a model from your uncle’s poster that he had in the toilet in the 80s.
PS: Here’s great text on Arca and his music approaches / contributions as well as a reaction on Britt Brown’s retro review of Xen: http://adhoc.fm/post/dear-arca-adhoc-issue-2/