Arca - @@@@@
The Venezuelan producer has returned with a 62 minute track album called @@@@@. To call Arca experimental is an understatement. She manages to take everything you know about electronic production, everything you know about what a song should sound like and completely flips it on it's head. If Vocals use to drive her music She'll eliminate them completely, If a song has too much structure, blow it to smithereens. Around every corner is a new moment of experience. At about six minutes in we descend into this explosions of voice, and maybe even actual explosions as you feel like you are falling further and further into the depths of the burning earth. You can sense the heat, the fire and the sever pain as you drift through this world. The times she finds a beat it acts as this welcome respite from the deluge of pure noise coming at you. Industrial sounds bang into your ears as swelling soundscapes begin to form in the distance. @@@@@ should feel sinister, It should be like a soundtrack to a horror film, but that is not what Arca does she pushes until she finds the joy and beauty in the chaos. @@@@@ is not a casual listen, it's not something you can put on in the background while you work or do something. This record challenges you to listen, not by writing some ridiculous set of criteria in the liner notes you must adhere to before listening to the album. Arca instead has her music make those statements for her.
Because the album is just one track there really is no picking up and getting back where you started. It's frustrating at times, but also allows Arca to present one clear vision for this project. She is always masterful at putting projects in their particular place and at their particular time and @@@@@ is no different. This record is something truly special if you have the time and patience to appreciate it. Arca is making a big ask of the listener by putting out this music this way, but it's an ask that pays off in spades.
8.8 out of 10