This month sees Björk releasing a strings only, stripped back version of her ‘Vulnicura’ album, one free of her own production, and that of Venezuelan producer Arca. Comparison points aren’t hard to find between the two forms of that record, and it’s clear on Arca’s second album ‘Mutant’ that he currently operates in a dark, twisted and gutsy headspace determined to slash reality into pieces.
2014’s ‘Xen’ debut was torn between destroying sanity and having an old fashioned dance. Violent but swaggering, it had more in common with the early hip-hop pulse of ‘2 Blunted’ than anything on ‘Mutant’. This record prefers to forge a new feel out of complete chaos, in the most deranged way possible.
Aside from the brutal norm its twenty, overwhelming tracks follow, ‘Mutant’ is also capable of digging up gold. The closing half of its title-track is a gorgeous breath of fresh air, while ‘Front Load’ could be a Timbaland beat in alien disguise. This record is deadly in intention, but it packs a sweet heart - Arca is one of very few names around who can balance the two extremes.