Arca’s responsible for some of the creepiest beats this side of Aphex Twin. Last year’s Xen was a surprise success for the Venezuelan producer; based around his alter-ego. ‘EN’ continues that same creepy electronic atmosphere, complete with artwork that you can’t quite get your head around and beats that should by all accounts turn your brain to jelly. It isn’t ‘abrasive’ or ‘harsh’ as such, it sounds less like an industrial factory collapsing in on itself and more like something organic and breathing, like a metallic butterfly constantly hitting a window. If that doesn’t sum it up well, it’s because it’s hard to pin down ‘EN’.
There’s little structure or evolution. Brief pauses allows more ‘fluttering’ to pile on top with a repetitive human voice breathing in and out to add to the instrumentation. In that respect it feels more like someone messing around with effects more than crafting a song. But Arca isn’t really out to craft a pop song. He’s making experimental stuff that makes you grab onto a structure before changing to another one just to confuse you. ‘EN’ is the sonic equivalent of Memento, a film where the structure goes back and forth in narrative and forces the audience to piece together the story themselves. It may be hard work, but Arca offers the same twisted, alien narrative with his music.