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The sound of apocalypse

Xen is the official debut by the producer Arca, alias behind which the Venezuelan Alejandro Ghersi hides. It is an album made up of little doses of noisy keyboards, occasional rhythms and an atmosphere of tension which causes contradictory sensations at all times. Stimulating music between agitation and ambient calm.

It is especially relevant work since we are before one of the producers of the hour. The FKA twigs' album was his doing, or even, he coproduced four songs of Yeezus by Kanye West. To complete the recognition of the young producer, he is currently coproducing along with Björk, the album which will be the continuation of Biophilia, expected next year. An impressive curriculum.

That is why Xen seems so interesting, an album of his own which is a bit far from the FKA twigs coordinates, for instance. This is slippery music which might remind of the Clams Casino's hip hop or of Rustie's synthesizers; here, there is also electricity and danger. His music can be placed between Glitch Hop and certain Wonky sounds.

Synthetic sounds are what run the songs. The producer plays with rhythms, always supporting, never predominant. From the start, we are already positioned in a very particular context of sound, what we will be hearing next follows a dark path which takes us to a dangerous place. His music, sinuous, surprises the listener, being positioned where few people do.

Just as he explained during an interview with The Guardian, Ghersi does not write accessible music: "I don’t want people to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I love this song’ on the first listen. I want them to listen to it again and again and, by the 10th time, finally see themselves in it." It is true that, as the listens go on, one progressively discovers new layers and shapes, which make this album we are facing, demanding and fascinating all at once.

Translation: Irene Soto.

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