As a nonbinary trans woman raised in Caracas, Venezuela -- at the height of social unrest -- and suburban Connecticut, Arca (aka Alejandra Ghersi) is no stranger to existing in between worlds.
Since the 2012 breakthrough of her Stretch EPs she has played in the fertile chaos of liminality, straddling possibilities beyond binaries with ease. In her visual collaborations with transhumanist artist Frederik Heyman, for example (see the music video for "Prada/Rakata"), esoteric symbolism meets CGI latex in fusions of human and machine. Her reconceptions of gender, genre, language, physicality, and erotic expression coexist in a transgressive multiverse where nothing is out of the question.
The three new albums each represent an expansion on the original KiCk i universe, with their own musical and thematic singularities. KiCK ii dives deeper within the experimental reggaeton pop intersection Arca developed on the first installment of the series. The starpower of "KLK" with ROSALÍA is prolonged across new tracks like "Prada" and "Rakata".
Musical multi-hyphenate Arca understands more than any artist in the public eye that flux is a natural part of the human condition. It's illuminated in her music, performance, visuals, and whatever medium she uses to illustrate facets of her self-expression. The world Arca has created through her art defies any sort of binary, be it of gender, genre, or form itself.
Arca's music refuses to be contained. From the very beginning, it has thrived on its intractability. Her first two EPs, 2012's Stretch 1 and Stretch 2, oozed beyond category, harbingers of an elasticity then creeping into the fringes of electronic music. The Venezuelan-born electronic musician was equally cavalier about format: On the 2013 mixtape &&&&& and 2016's Entrañas, she strung together bewildering assemblages of rhythms and textures into maze-like 25-minute suites; on 2020's @@@@@, she mapped an even more labyrinthine path through a single-track collage more than an hour long.