• The Venezuelan artist overwhelms with the edition of four simultaneous albums in which she displays a dreamy electronic imaginary with nods to reggaeton and cyberpunk

  • The new albums of Julie Doiron, Deep Purple, Abdullah Ibrahim and Leo Nocentelli, also reviewed

We have watched her grow, Sónar through, raising our eyebrows at the extension of her cobweb of seductions, in which creators such as Björk, FKA Twiggs, Antony, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Future or Rosalía have been hooked. He has shared productions, mixes and ‘beats’ with everyone Arca, a figure that perhaps fell from the sky with the mission of disrupting the notion of pop artist. From its very androgynous nature and its delusional aesthetics, to that musical language of another world, a mixture of tribalism and dreaminess, of sensuality and digital vandalism.

And in these, his new album, which actually consists of four volumes, continuing the award-winning ‘kick i’ launched last year. The second, third and fourth ‘kick’ has been added a fifth, by surprise, this Friday, with which we talk about more than two hours of music. Overwhelming delivery for its quantity and immersive power: makes you feel in a galactic jungle making your way with machetes, in an environment between magical and wild, fusing the avant-garde solutions with vestiges, chopped or crushed, of popular rhythms. And from all this songs come out, with their hinted melodic lines (sometimes), and occasional eccentric refrains, without losing sight of the pop dimension (especially on ‘kick ii’).

Cubist reggaeton

These new chapters transport you to another reality from the processed voice that opens ‘Doña’. Self-portrait with pugilistic violence, where the non-binary Venezuelan artist Alejandra (formerly Alejandro) Ghersi Rodríguez He proceeds to introduce himself: “The Doña Arca leans over / on her bed / Rubs her faith / with carelessness & rdquor ;. Hence, to the cadence of ‘Prada’, which proclaims tropical sympathy, like later the expeditious ‘Rakata’ and ‘Tiro’, leading reggaeton or cumbia patterns to an abstract stadium, of venusian party.

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The Latin clef, already suggested in that ‘kick i’, now has more presence, although Arca can slide towards more dreamlike and environmental planes, giving prominence to the vocal harmonies (Is in ‘Born yesterday’) or engulf cyberpunk (with Shirley Manson, from Garbage, in ‘Alien inside’). There is little room for the rest of the senses, and the voice attracts the spotlight: distorted or outlining impossible squiggles, from the ‘autotune’ to the infinite tongue twister. The environments become more ethereal in ‘kick iiii’ and a certain ghostly minimalism hovers over ‘kick iiiii’, where Arca sneaks another ‘vip’ signing, Ryuichi Sakamoto, in the shadows of ‘Sanctuary’.

This editorial orgy has its share of excess and ‘arty’ exhibitionism, but, as you digest it, a notion of Arca takes hold as creator endowed with a strange sensibility. Diva of a pixelated cabaret, with courage and witchcraft skills, capable of moving, intriguing or shaking with unpredictable music, free of patterns. Jordi Bianciotto

Other albums of the week

‘I thought of you’

Julie doiron

You’ve Changed

Rock indie


In the first collection of new solo compositions published in a decade, the Canadian artist, aided by the hyperactive Daniel Romano, sing of lost loves and new opportunities about a instrumental base of country-folk profiles that the same thing is close to psychedelia (‘Just when I thought’) that looks into the eyes of Neil Young and Crazy Horse (the great ‘The letters we sent’) or even disappears to give all the prominence to the magnificent voice of Doiron (‘Back to the water’). Rafael Tapounet

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Instead of staying in a corner crying over missed tours, Ian Gillan and company they have preferred to have fun recording their first cover album in 53-year career. Tributes to their roots that reveal a broader spectrum than you might imagine: Beyond proto-hard rock (The Yardbirds, Cream, Love), sparks emerge from his assaults on Louis Jordan’s swing (‘Let the good times roll’) and Mitch Ryder’s soul (‘Jenny take a ride!’ ), displaying passion and inventiveness. Healthy. J. B.


Abdullah Ibrahim |

Gearbox Records



Years ago Abdullah Ibrahim | celebrates its anniversary with a solo piano concert in a small town in Germany. In 2021, when he was 86 years old, the concert became a closed-door recording. With that mix of peace, light and mystery which makes it unique, in ‘Solotude’ the South African giant chains a long collection of his melodies – jewels like ‘Mindiff’, ‘Sotho Blue’, ‘The Wedding’ – some almost in miniature format. It’s only 40 minutes, but it sounds like time has stopped. Roger rock

Related news

‘Another side’

Leo Nocentelli

Light in the Attic

acoustic rock


The guitarist of The Meters, New Orleans funk champions, recorded between 1970 and 1972 an LP of original songs (plus a cover of Elton John’s ‘Your song’) whose acoustic and introspective nature he was so far removed from the exuberant style of his group that the tapes were left gathering dust on a shelf. His almost miraculous recovery, after half a century, reveals to us a sensitive, warm and raw singer-songwriter at the same time, halfway between James Taylor and Bill Withers. A revelation. R. T.


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