Arca - KiCk i

Devrim Berk Gürakar
June 26, 2020
[deconstructed club, glitch hop]

Talking about Arca in 2014 was getting into the lowest reaches of the musical underground. As a producer Arca’s genius was put to display in full on FKA Twig’s debut album as well as on multiple tracks on Kanye West’s Yeezus. Taken in tandem with their jarring and disruptive early solo work, building true sonic landscapes dark with fetish, the Venezuelan artist shook the foundations of electronic vanguard, raising their level and making a name to be taken into account in the industry.

KiCk i opens with “Nonbinary.” The song along with its audiovisual piece is the perfect cover letter to the new Arca era. The lyrics speak of grays, non-definition and non-labels. A topic that haunts us all, every day that Alejandra wants to eradicate. After their wonderful 2017 eponymous feature, self-titled, Alejandra puts the voice in the foreground again and makes they the absolute protagonist of the compositions. The difference on KiCk i — Arca is more confident and moves between vocal harmonies like a fish in the water.

On this album, Arca celebrates the eternal feminine. They surrounds themself with creative women and queer artists, collaborating with them and giving rise to some of the most powerful themes on the album.  The voice of Rosalía gives color to the frantic and electrified reggaeton of “KLK,” and the Icelandic artist Björk recites in “Afterwards,” with her particular melodramatic style, a poem by Antonio Machado.

Among the magnificent features, the track "La Chiqui" finds Arca joining forces with the Scottish composer and producer SOPHIE for a magnificent collaboration creating beautiful synergies between trans creators and increasing commitment to the community.

Among the predominant styles of KiCk i of course we find electronics, but not the same electronics as Xen or Mutant and even Arca. KiCk i is something ethereal and refined, with divine order within the chaos. Alejandra's roots emerge, and Latin becomes a great ally (see “Riquiqui” and “Mequetrefe”). Passed through its own and technological optics. Moreover, the closing track, “No Queda Nada” and “Machote” are flawlessly gender-mixed, de-constructed songs which, sadly,  will not get the attention of fans in my opinion.

KiCk i works as a consolidation album, an LP that places Arca in that Olympus of Multidisciplinary Artists with capital letters that very few can opt for. Arca not only demonstrates their good work in the musical field, but stands out as a creator in multiple media such as video, photography, fashion and performance. KiCk i is a concept, it is art, it is dance, but above all it is sincerity and courage —powerful demonstration that Arca and all of us can be who we want to be and build ourselves. 

In general, KiCK i is the portrait of an artist gaining strength and confidence, leaning into the sounds of the club and dancefloor, if you can characterize reggaeton and Latin music passed through a blender, from which almost everything was cut off, leaving the skeleton. “We don’t need to freeze in any of the conditions in order to consider ourselves normal,” says Arca in an interview. “We are constantly on the move. We are liquid, literally.”


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