Album cover of 'KiCk i' by Arca

“What a treat it is to be nonbinary,” Arca says on KiCk i’s opening track, emphasising the three syllables in “binary”. It’s the Venezuelan producer’s first album since transitioning gender. Nonbinary thinking extends to the music too. “Mequetrefe”, which tells in Spanish of stepping out into the public eye as a gender-nonconforming person, follows a ternary structure (as many songs do).

Arca, aka Alejandra Ghersi, has here crafted her most direct and pleasurable album yet, based around songs and the dance floor rather than the glitchy electronic textures of her previous albums. Her frequent collaborator Björk is among the guests, singing (in Spanish) on “Afterwards”. Others include Spanish singer Rosalía and Scottish singer and producer Sophie.

Björk’s song has a solemn, church-choral feel, different from most of the other tracks. These in turn are more dynamic, with Arca applying her ear for striking electronic arrangements to popular forms like reggaeton and rap. Her own voice rings out alongside those of her guests, electronically treated so as to suggest the correspondence of multiple identities.

★★★★☆

KiCk i’ is released by XL Recordings

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