Arca
Mutant


4.5
superb

Review

by ChronicSmiler USER (12 Reviews)
November 26th, 2015 | 82 replies


Release Date: 11/20/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let's ask the questions.

Who am I" What does it mean to be this thing called a human" Questions these grand can not be answered simply, but with Arca's Mutant, there is a great sonic attempt to at least ponder them. These songs are not simple attempts at hits that try to have a philosophical backing; this is a journey. Questioning one's humanity is not meant to be simple and trife.

All these landscapes created are beautiful and chaotic in their vision. The 7 minute title all at once gives a general synopsis of the album's sound – starting stopping chaotic beats, with a contrasting a soundscape growing more complex and lively, tearing everything apart while still giving some structure to hold on to. Much like thoughts of the mind though, these sounds can go deeper. These landscapes can range from the beautiful shiny landscapes of Sever and Hymn, to more brooding and depressed landscapes such as Extent; but there is a definite coherence that ties the tracks together. Each track smoothly transitions into the next – akin to following one's own mind from one idea to the next. But this is a mind in conflict. It can be found from the voices in En battling each other to the white noise drenched growls of Beacon; all trying to figure this out.

Like the title suggests, this journey takes you outside the realms of what is human, often times to pure synthetic worlds. In the minimal piano track Else, the piece starts off being played with organic intention and direction, but the song is bombed with explosive synths trying to kill off any sense of humanity. In Hymn, there is the sound of blissful torture, as the bright landscape created is accompanied by a feel of jitteryness and noise that builds up to a crescendo of an abrupt, screaming end. Similarly, Extent feels like an envelopment of any remaining humanity, with slow, brooding, synths and muffled robotic screams that ultimately to a muffling of the soundscape itself. There is a certain comfort in this though. In the following track, Envelopment, actual rhythm and overall sense of triumph can be felt. It's alright to be mutant.

The only possible gripe to be had with this journey is the length of it. While the album does not feel like a chore to listen to, it rather feels like many similar ideas used over again. This creates a slight deja-vu factor for many of these tracks, such as Gratitud and Sever's similarly shiny mandolin sounds with Alive and Umbilical's jittery synths. While this could have been expressed in different terms to give the journey more polish, that could be the point – to revisit the same landscapes with a different mindset.

Have you found yourself yet" Do you know if you are even human" Probably not. The last two tracks on this album show that we're probably never going to know. By Soichiro, this frustration has reached the point of self-destruction, with screaming and breaking down. It seems like this is the only solution. Nothing has been figured out though. With Peonies' phased out and barely there sound – the journey continues.



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user ratings (147)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
iRox (4.5)
The "moments in-between" are sometimes the most crucially important....


Comments:Add a Comment 
ChronicSmiler
November 26th 2015


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Or maybe its just a collection of random sounds. I don't know, I just write the stuff.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
November 26th 2015


13495 Comments


nice writing bruh

Digging: Shojoskip - Cosodorokitsune

alienobserver
November 26th 2015


4274 Comments


duddee u nailed this my thoughts exactly. love this album

hal1ax
November 26th 2015


10439 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

big pos

love this alby

alienobserver
November 26th 2015


4274 Comments


smae fam

Tunaboy45
November 26th 2015


16050 Comments


His work on Vulnicura was great, enjoyed reading the review too man.

ChronicSmiler
November 26th 2015


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gosh, well aren't you guys the best. How did this stack up for you?

hal1ax
November 26th 2015


10439 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fack i think Soichiro is my fav song on this.

kinda has that sad but hopeful feel to it. reminds me of some Burial jams in a way

alienobserver
November 26th 2015


4274 Comments


Alive is really pretty too

hal1ax
November 27th 2015


10439 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes indeedy

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2015


17732 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really hated the sound palette this dude uses here but I might give it another shot

Digging: Cat Power - Moon Pix

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2015


17732 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It has a kinda 'robot junkyard' vibe, just not sure when I'd ever feel in the mood. I'm listening a lot to 'Garden of Delete' at the moment and that's the opposite for me, love the sound palette



'GoD' reminds is like taking a tour around a futuristic city, their are liquid textures and life, this is like visiting a mining plant on a derelict moon with only robots for company and feels totally dry

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2015


17732 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well over the last two weeks the OPN has become my AOTY so it's fair to say I disagree a fair bit...but I'll return to this a few more times to see if it clicks

ChoccyPhilly
November 27th 2015


11741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Seems pointless that some of these tracks are just fragments of Sheep

Digging: Bicep - Bicep

ChronicSmiler
November 27th 2015


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OPN definitely has better songs, but this as a whole is a much better experience.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2015


15909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review was way too heavy-handed for me.

ChronicSmiler
November 27th 2015


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I felt like it was a pretty heavy album thematically, but thanks for checking the review out!

Big love to you Calc!

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2015


15909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

written well though, so nice job there

Fort23
November 27th 2015


2968 Comments


great rev bout to shoot up some pcp and slap this thing

alienobserver
November 27th 2015


4274 Comments


rip fort23



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