Ark, spell and a bit of delirium at the climax of Sónar 2022


Immersing ourselves in the depths of the last night of Sónar, beyond The Chemical Brothers’ battery of ‘hits’, an outstanding presence attracted attention: Alejandra Gharsi, Arca, sorceress of a cabaret from the future, reggaeton cyberpunk and a few other things. Also the creature that adjusts the ‘show’ to its temperamental circumstances, improvising minute by minute, drifting from the songbook to the endless music sequences and rhythmic delirium, pure aesthetics of excess.

Completed a gender transition of which we were having clues in previous editions of Sónar, the Venezuelan unleashed her feminine self in a cheeky ‘music hall’ version, ready for perreo and the catwalk of postures and her ass in pomp, alone on stage and in company of his gadgets. Starting from the overwhelming material of ‘kick’ (the pentalogy of 2020-21), she started in atomic mode, giving us a ‘Rakata’ with a cosmic reggaeton hit, fueling lust: “Pongo, I’m your dinner / Good witch that I am & rdquor;. Themes sewn one to another, directly porn in ‘The soul that brought you’: “Daddy, give me a penis, I open it with my claws / You call me a slut / You climb on me and tear me apart & rdquor ;.

Lab and slang

Fascinating world, it must be said, that of this accomplice of Björk and Frank Ocean, gifted to fuse avant-garde and popular drive, hard electronics and ardent Latin, laboratory and slum slang. Songs that touch on subjects such as ‘post-genderism’, in which Arca was a early morning phoenix on cumbersome rhythmic bases. Thick synth scribbles and syncopated bass barrage. “I want to give them all my energy, do they receive it?”

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The ‘set’ became more confused in the final section, when the limits of the songs were blurred and Arca was lost at ease through a labyrinth of electronic crackles mixing the pure ascending ‘bakala’ with ‘sampled’ metals of fanfare and symphonic delirium Wagnerian (confessed influence of ‘kick’). Crazy wise woman or a little crazy girl, starting up all his toys.

In that last sequence, Arca conveyed the feeling that she is a intriguing force of nature that has not mastered its own vigor and inventiveness, impression that we already had after the editorial spread of ‘kick’. “There are only five minutes left. I want to play the piano with you & rdquor ;, he added rushing the ‘set’, saying goodbye with placid galactic operetta harmonies. Perhaps the best of Arca is yet to come. But no matter what she does, you can’t stop looking at her.


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