Like many of her closest collaborators adjacent to the forward-thinking PC Music camp, one of the most thrilling parts about listening to an Arca album is that you never know when the music is going to suddenly divert into disorienting harsh noise or the sweetest of bubblegum pop melodies. Sometimes, the music transitions between the two in the same track.
Supposedly the first in a series of four albums, KiCK i continues to experiment with Arca’s atmospheric and percussion-heavy electronic style. It opens with echoed metallic clangs, rumbling bass and gunshots as Arca offers a free-flowing slam poetry verse celebrating non-binary pride.
Quite a bit of this album is in the Venezuelan artist’s native Spanish, and it’s exciting to hear a language that has so forcefully broken through to the pop mainstream lately combined with such futuristic soundscapes. Glitchy and chaotic percussion mixes back up reggaeton flows and slow-burning flamenco balladry. Teaming up with another disruptive force in the Latin music scene, Rosalía’s career directive of angelic vocals and hard-hitting beats fits perfectly into this world.
This isn’t really music to dance or even nod your head to. Arca elicits more of a wide-eyed, awestruck response to the artful and constantly surprising creativity playing out before your ears.