Her three previous albums – ‘Xen’, ‘Mutant’, and ‘Arca’ – along with the 62-minute single ‘@@@@@‘ released earlier this year, have deservedly won her critical acclaim and a fervent fanbase. Bjork and Arca have a familiar relationship, with Arca previously having collaborated with the Icelandic songstress on her records Utopia and Vulnicura. With an all-star cast including Rosalia and … Kick I is the fourth studio album by Venezuelan electronic record producer Arca. On the first album of a four-part series, the Venezuelan-born, Barcelona-based artist offers her most accessible music to date, channeling her signature sounds into sharply focused avant-pop. The emancipatory promise of Arca’s project—a world beyond binaries, categories, and convention itself—remains thrilling, even when her tottering steps don’t quite reach that wished-for horizon. Arca has created a world of diversity, inclusivity and acceptance by combining a myriad of different styles; it’s just a shame that our actual world isn’t as welcoming or unified as ‘KiCk i’ Read Review Who doesn’t want that?”. Arca - KiCk i deconstructed club 2020 Talking about Arca in 2014 was getting into the lowest reaches of the musical underground. But nevertheless, her volcanic ability to push forward new ideas and to innovate musically as only a very few can do is remarkable. It contains her most accessible music to date, scooping up her glitchy, slippery textures and chiseling them into hard definition. (Pitchfork earns a commission from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.). Where her previous releases often felt rooted in melancholy and discomfort, emotions that spilled forth as operatic vocals on 2017’s Arca, KiCk i radiates with self-possessed joy. “You can have two people arguing about identity politics and gender,” she said, “screaming at each other with both of their faces red, thinking that they’re right.” But the inevitable “glitch” is to be welcomed as a kind of productive dissonance, she added, “because it favors a life that is more unexpected, vibrant and full of possibility. It’s pop, it’s avant-garde. It doesn't help, furthermore, that KiCk i's songwriting, taken next to the average Arca work, is observably dumbed-down. Humanly speaking, never before has an Arca album been so down to earth, showing all the convictions of its author. Catch up every Saturday with 10 of our best-reviewed albums of the week. On ‘KiCK i’, Arca probes the boundary between noise and pop with chaotic, rich, layered textures, which fuels her anthemic production. 'KiCk i' - Arca [REVIEW] June 30, 2020. Splashes of her familiar sounds are evident throughout, but it also allows space for choruses alongside touches of trap, reggaeton and pop. Tradition hasn’t served Arca’s life purpose. By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director [XL Recordings; 2020] Rating: 7/10. There have never been so many lyrics on an Arca album before, yet, “Nonbinary” aside, they’re mainly used as textural elements rather than vehicles for ideas or stories. Over clanging pipework and videogame machine guns, she acts out the perverse thrill of doing whatever you want and knowing that someone hates you for it: “What a treat it is to be nonbinary, ma chérie, tee-hee-hee—bitch!”. Product details Product Dimensions : 12.44 x 12.28 x 0.43 inches; 14.46 Ounces The album was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. AllMusic Review by Heather Phares Following the gorgeously moody catharsis of 2017's Arca , Alejandra Ghersi embraces all of herself and her music on KiCk i . Sign up for the 10 to Hear newsletter here. Album Rating: 2.5 uhm it's seriously just everything from the art to the production. Elsewhere, the electronic sounds feel familiar enough from the abstract universe of Arca—noises that have no real-world index, but make you think of stuff like latex and metal, volcanic rocks and collapsing buildings—but each element has been sharpened and accentuated. It’s the first time Arca has collaborated with others on a solo album, and the aforementioned features, along with feted producer SOPHIE and London electronic artist Shygirl help to elevate the project, adding further colours to Arca’s world. She has released four studio albums — Xen (2014), Mutant (2015), Arca (2017) and Kick I (2020) — and has contributed production work to artists such as Björk, Kanye West, FKA twigs, Kelela, and Frank Ocean “Rip the Slit” is also fueled by a combination of shredded reggaetón and treated vocals, this time pitched up to helium-femme proportions. That will be disappointing for those who were expecting a star-studded pop-crossover album on a par with her guests’ best work. Arca’s music has, from its genesis, been a jarring sonic protest. Arca’s always been amusing—after all, she once titled a song “Front Load”—but Kick I is a new high water-mark for her leftfield one-liners and absurd metaphors, all tied to her assurance and strength. On ‘Afterwards’, Arca creates an orchestral backdrop for Björk to whisper-sing in Spanish, implementing a meditative pause amidst the album’s turbulence, while Rosalía also hops on ‘KLK’ for a hyperkinetic, club-ready track. T ime, from Arca’s fourth album KiCk i, reduces a booming, bass-heavy 4/4 kick drum to a whisper that oscillates around Alejandra Ghersi’s blurry, anaesthetised words. Arca’s carefully controlled cacophonies stand on the fringes of dance music and pop, but ‘KiCk i’ feels more like an exploration of an internal landscape. With an all-star cast including Rosalia and Bjork, this project confirms the Venezuelan artist as a great of the contemporary alternative scene. “Afterwards” has a touch of that (the lyrics, lines from a poem by Spanish modernist Antonio Machado, are about a dream where “golden bees” make honey “inside my heart”) but the duet slips away like sand between their fingers, never settling on a distinct melody; the song feels restless and unresolved. Arca – ‘KiCk i’ review: a new high watermark for the wildly innovative producer’s experimental pop. Boomkat Product Review: Produced and recorded by Arca, KiCk i defines a new era of multiplex harmony for the Venezuelan artist, singer, DJ, performer and experimental music composer, featuring appearances from Björk, Rosalía, Shygirl and SOPHIE, this is the first time Arca has invited collaborators into her world, previously having lent her sound to some of the decades most avant-pop artists. On KiCk i, the first in a proposed series of four albums, she navigates the spaces in between worlds, languages, genres, and genders. Correction: A previous version of this review implied that Björk wrote the lyrics to “Afterwards.” It is been updated to reflect the lyrics were written by the poet Antonio Machado. 'KiCk i' is the most 'pop' of all of Arca's albums to date, yet retains the avant-garde cutting edge that has always made her music so compelling. In fact, with tracks like “Afterwards” and the closer “No Queda Nada”, we see her reach inside her more daring and emotive side, resulting in moments that are equal parts heart-crushing and mesmerizing. This latest project, an audacious 12-track album, is a heightened version of her previous projects, now overlaid with a pop sheen. In the overlapping spheres of pop and electronic music—spaces long populated by queer artists moving beyond narrow preconceptions of gender identity—Arca has become one of the most visible figures exploring what it means to transition in public. What Björk once brought to the table, though, was songwriting—image-rich, personal, laden with memorable hooks and emotional landscapes. Still, compared to the rest of Arca’s catalogue—including the forbidding twists and turns of @@@@@, the hour-long mixtape from earlier this year—KiCk i marks not only a giant leap towards a bigger audience, but one taken on her own terms. The album’s opening track is … On “KLK,” she and co-producer Cardopusher add extra ballast to a pounding reggaetón production with the growl of the furruco bass drum, a Venezuelan folk instrument that Ghersi learned at school. Keys-driven standout Calor is stark and blinding like sunlight reflecting from black ice. KiCk i is her seventh full-length release, and from the cover art forward—anime heroine meets Mr. Tumnus, as styled by Boston Dynamics—this feels like the first suggestion that she’s remotely comfortable in her own skin. In her most linear project to date, experimental electronic artist Arca combines her abstract approach to production with a pop and reggaeton influence. She’s fierce, self-possessed, in it for the thrill: “I don’t give a fuck what you think/You don’t know me—you might owe me,” she purrs, tasting every syllable. Her singular production incorporates unorthodox elements – abrasive percussion, high-pitched whines and screeches – while hinting at chords and convention, but turning away from normality at the last moment. Though some may be put off that KiCk i is not the gorgeous art-pop masterstroke Arca was, the core of this new record remains tender. Arca: Kick I review – dissonance meets overground ambitions (XL) The Venezuelan electronic innovator adds guests and party tunes to her trademark glitchy sounds. The lack of proper songs, for want of a better term, is a mystery. KiCk I is a consistently enjoyable, so the fact it still feels like something of an anti-climax is testament only to Arca’s history of braveness and originality. More than on previous records, Arca bends her voice into multiple shapes and characters. The operatic mode we’ve heard from her before returns on the romantic closer, “No Queda Nada,” and “Calor,” a shuddering love song for her partner: “Eres el dueño de todo mi ser” (“You’re the owner of my whole being”). Björk appears, singing in Spanish, on “Afterwards,” underscoring the extent to which KiCk i is inspired by the Icelandic musician’s ’90s albums, from the sound—cutting-edge club music combined with pop-facing vocals—to the cyborg cover art, which would surely get the nod from Homogenic art director Alexander McQueen. Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music. As a result, where Arca presented a cohesive vision preoccupied by a sense of otherworldly melancholy, KiCk i, is fluid, multi-dimensional, and frequently rapturous. That style would usually turn me off but I think it works surprisingly well here, showing Arca's dedication to her craft. Once again, KiCk i confirms the charm of such an unclassifiable and sometimes unintelligible artist. Her tracks have always been short, but the tunes here, stuffed to bursting as they are with cool noises and other people, permit little room for structural … Where her previous releases often felt rooted in melancholy and discomfort, emotions that spilled forth as operatic vocals on 2017’s Arca, KiCk i radiates with self-possessed joy. Discover releases, reviews, credits, songs, and more about Arca - Kick I at Discogs. It also includes collaborations with Björk, Shygirl and Sophie. In addition to Arca’s voices, three guest singers appear, while SOPHIE lends production and voice on “La Chíqui.” Shygirl casts a cold glance over “Watch,” dismissing the night’s options in a world-weary Londoner’s monotone: “No feelings, no exclusive.” It doesn’t take much to flip Rosalía’s flamenco tones into something approaching sheer glossolalia, and on “KLK” the bare-bones lyrics are simply a way to generate sound through the Catalan singer’s quivering soprano as she repeats short, scrappy phrases: “Qué es lo que tú crees?” (“What do you think it is?”) and “Bendecida, bendecida” (“Blessed, blessed”). With a proposal risky, disruptive and mixed electronics over dark with fetish, the drag and bionic, the Venezuelan artist shook the foundations of electronic vanguard, raising its proposal and achieving making a name to be taken into account in the industry. This is the Venezeluan producer’s most accessible record yet, featuring superstar Björk and Spanish pop sensation Rosalía, but there are no signs of compromise here. Arca, ‘KiCk i’ review “Bitch, I’m special you can’t tell me otherwise,” Arca declares on this album’s lead single Nonbinary, which features industrial clangs that could be Godzilla descending a steel spiral staircase. Toggle navigation Showcasing the … Arca’s attempts on ‘KLK’ are formidable, using the melodious tone of her voice as an instrument rather than a … WPGM Recommends: Arca – Kick I (Album Review) Album Reviews, Reviews. The world's defining voice in music and pop culture since 1952. In a recent interview, she made the point that language is prone to “glitches,” misunderstandings that arise when people disagree on the meaning of a given word. KiCk i drips with pensive pleasure. On KiCk i, the Venezuelan artist, singer, DJ, performer and composer pairs this call to revolt with the most important root of an effective revolution: discourse. Opening track “Nonbinary” presents Alejandra Ghersi at her most direct and pop-primed. On “Mequetrefe,” the bashed-up skeleton of a reggaetón rhythm offers an unstable base for her processed voice, which crumbles into metal shards as she imagines herself as a head-turning woman on the hunt for her man: “Ella no toma taxi/Que la vean/Que la vean en las calles” (“She doesn’t take a taxi/Let them see her/Let them see her on the streets”). Kick I is the latest futuristic answer mixing psychedelia and industry, which has the gift of taking us on a sound journey as eccentric as it is sensational. Though nowhere near as confrontational as releasing a 62 minute long song – which Arca did in February of this year – it’s a playful, pan-global rebel yell, its title a reference to both the first kick inside of a foetus in utero and a person’s own kick for individuality. ‘KiCk i’ demonstrates a wide variety of sonic derivatives, often times falling victim to not entirely fleshing out each individual concept. Arca… "KiCk i" combines her usual glitchy electronic stylings with a more accessible reggaeton-fused sound. The first in a series of four planned releases, ‘KiCk i’ isn’t about making concessions. For the first installment, KiCk i, Arca pursues pleasure, dignity, and dance floor liberation by refracting club music, reggaeton, and pop through her radical vision. It’s anti-cohesion, proudly emphasising the parts that shouldn’t fit. Using the camera and her body to reinvent herself for our (and her) pleasure, Arca joins a long line of musical chameleons. Perhaps the same suspicion that meaning is never fixed or certain helps to explain Ghersi’s treatment of voices throughout, as they flicker like radio static, failing to communicate. Having coming out as non-binary in 2018, Arca has since transitioned and ‘Nonbinary’ is a self-affirming infectious pop track with tongue-tying whispered lyrics – “it’s French tips wrapped around a dick” – while its saccharine third verse exemplifies her bold new self. For the first installment, KiCk i, Arca pursues pleasure, dignity, and dance floor liberation by refracting club music, reggaeton, and pop through her radical vision. ‘Nonbinary’, the opening track on Arca’s fourth studio album ‘KiCk i’, is a delectable declaration of her new gender expression. Recorded between Barcelona and London, the album was released on June 26, 2020 through XL Recordings. Considering the range of genres incorporated in the album, it’s stunning that it never veers fully towards only one. Arca Has the Absolute Most Fun on KiCk i Alejandra Ghersi’s first proper studio album post-transition is her most fun, pop-oriented, guest-filled—and plain best—yet That was part of the point — Arca’s music is purposefully challenging — but KiCk i is compellingly relistenable. The dancefloor has always been a space of queer liberation, of questioning and distorting gender, of finding yourself in the smoke, and the next … Arca - KiCk i review: tripping forward. Instead, ‘KiCk i’ incorporates pop, experimental, noise, electronica and psychedelia into one project. With each track, Arca applies a different costume—a different skin, even—moving through effervescent electro pop on “Time,” which could be the beginning of a Robyn ballad, and into experimental club rhythms, steamy torch songs, and her own ragged, industrial take on the reggaetón that she encountered as a kid in Caracas. Shop Vinyl and CDs and complete your Arca collection. Arca further proves she has quite the diverse catalog, this time moving out of the conventions of genres entirely. These qualities make for a unique expression of queer and gender non-conforming identity, though Arca doesn’t let herself be defined by her otherness as much as her multiplicity. Key tracks: “Time”, “Mequetrefe ”, “La Chiqui” KiCk i is the first studio album in over three years from Alejandra Ghersi, more popularly known as Arca.Within these three years, Arca went through somewhat of a transformation within the public eye and publicly stated her non-binary identity in 2018. This is a shame, as Arca is known for the sharpness and wit she wields in two languages—another duality unpacked on KiCk i, as she flips between English and Spanish. Kick I was presented with four singles: "Nonbinary", "Time", "Mequetrefe", and "KLK" featuring Rosalía. REVIEW – Arca – KiCk i Play someone the opening track of KiCk i, the glitchy and thudding ‘Nonbinary’, with absolutely no context of Arca and her previous work, and see what their reaction is when you tell them this is instantly her most accessible album. Alejandra Ghersi (born 14 October 1989), better known by the stage name Arca, is a Venezuelan musician, singer, composer, record producer, and DJ based in Barcelona. It’s both and it’s neither. Cited previously by AURA Review as being the future of Spanish pop music, fulfilling Rosalía’s potential as a feature is a tough avenue for any producer. Amid a highly acclaimed career, Arca’s latest album presents a new high-water mark. The superior Arca-Shygirl collaboration is 'unconditional', a one-off single the pair released in June in support of Black Lives Matter. And somehow, it all clicks with an internal logic and poignancy. KiCk-i isn’t a cohesive album by traditional standards. Perhaps that’s the point. With a memorable beat full of sporadic gunshots and hollowed-out syncopated drums, warped on loop, she concludes her most contentious and catchiest song to date with the lyrics: “What a treat / It is to be / Non-binary / Ma chérie / Tee-hee-hee / Bitch”. The follow up to Arca’s 2017 self-titled debut record, "kiCk i" has yet to have a specific release date announced. Lacking much of a hook (save for a loop of the Dominican slang phrase “Que lo que”), “KLK” feels more like a studio experiment than a pop song, despite the A-list guest singer. As she put it in another interview, KiCk i can also be heard as a rallying cry, inviting listeners “to recognize the fact that there’s an alien inside of each of us.” She sets her own inner alien free on the album cover and in other recent images, where she appears almost naked, strapped into prosthetic claws and stilts, or six-breasted, attached to inscrutable devices—a being of her own creation, beyond traditional binaries, part human and part machine. © 2021 NME is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. Her latest work is KiCk i, the first in a series of upcoming works, each with its own sonic theme. Arca’s music has always incorporated various kinds of glitches, conceptual as much as technological, making electronic ruptures and spasms into her signature sound. Share the article: The 21st century is all about change and evolution.