Xen

Arca

Mute, 2014

It’s interesting to listen to music, hearing a whole slew of sounds, and not knowing really how they were made. They obviously don’t correspond to any earthly instrument, but you can’t picture the alien instrument that was used to make the noise, or any obvious categories other than maybe percussion. Even when you hear what sounds like a piano, it’s had some eerie filter applied on top of it. It’d be one thing if the whole album was composed with a small set of these unique voices but it seems each track brings something new to the mix.

No verses or choruses, but definitely melodies. These dance around, like on the title track, or on slow jam “Failed”. They don’t necessarily go anywhere, but neither do they have anywhere to be, which is not to say it’s pointless vamping. Some are more cacophonous (“Family Violence”) but then you have really beautiful sequences (“Wound”)…

So what genre is this? If I had to put a word on it, well.. you know what, I actually don’t have to put a word on it, so I won’t. You could definitely imagine these tracks as the soundtrack to a certain kind of movie, for one thing, or to Halloween (the holiday). Or just, you know, something I’d have in my collection.

Almost fun fact: I was going to say that one of these tracks made it onto a Thanksgiving Bounce Haus! mixtape one year, but I just checked and it was on a different album.