As we’ve said before, transgender musicians are the moment and the future.
Venezuelan electronic producer Arca, proved it again by recently dropping four albums as part of their "KiCk" series.
Breaking away from all norms is very much Arca’s M.O. and the restraints of the music industry are not immune from her genius. After teasing a Dec. 3 release date, the artist released "KICK ii" several days early on Nov. 30, while the others followed up each day after.
The series comes a year after the inaugural release of “KiCk i.” The new albums cover a spectrum of experimental and unapologetically self-righteous sounds of true identity for your listening pleasure.
Inspired by her experiences as a nonbinary transgender Latina woman, the albums bring an added layer of vulnerability. Throughout, the lyrics speak to the range of raw emotions from love to lust and prove these feelings to be nothing tied to gender but simply human experiences. Arca’s lens lends itself to powerful imagery that empowers and creates space for queer people, and it’s no surprise that experimental electronic artists have the most understanding of these experiences that can be hard as their clanging beats.
"KICK ii" focuses on rehashing reggaeton, visualized by Arca and Frederik Heyman — who designed all the album covers — in the double single “Prada/Rakata” that brings us into Arca’s mind and ties to a rich history of feminine strength. With a female pelvis bone held high, the music video depicts her in the image of goddess Maria Lionza who is venerated in Venezuela.
"KicK iii" serves as the hardest-hitting project and takes Arca’s experimental sounds to a new level. She is cockiest on this work and at home in the sounds of clanging. “Electra Rex” flips Freudian theory on its head in the name of total liberation, and the accompanying video humanizes it.
"kick iiii" features collaborations with Oliver Coates, Planningtorock, No Bra and Shirley Manson. A highlight in the series comes in “Lost Woman Found” as Arca describes finding herself.
As the resolution, “kiCK iiiii” is the calmest in the collection. Arca slows down and we can focus on what the series gave us. The albums go through every emotion and offer a track for every occasion. “kiCK iiiii” serves as the closing entry that ties the series together. Through these instrumental ballads, we can finally digest the multitude of this grand project.