Alejandro Ghersi is not afraid to be an outsider. The Caracas-born producer known as Arca (who fronts our Spring issue in conversation with Shayne Oliver) makes electronic music that feels both intimate and alien, tapping into a beautifully fetishistic sexuality that is heightened by the often nightmarish visuals of fellow Dazed 100-er and artist Jesse Kanda.
Less than three months ago, the 25-year-old artist launched his second album, Mutant, a deeply personal work that delved into previously unexplored sonic territories. From lending his beats to Prada’s SS16 campaign film to working closely with Björk on her astonishing ninth album Vulnicura, his list of collaborators are vast. Most recently, Arca has been preparing to launch a series of tracks recorded three years ago with Hood By Air boss Shayne Oliver (who he calls his “gay mother”) under the name Wench.
Since meeting through GHE20G0TH1K, the influential club night Oliver ran with Venus X, the pair have gone on to form one of the most creatively prolific friendships on the New York scene – and it’s one that doesn’t shy away from tenderness. Hood By Air’s SS16 bound-and-gagged show was soundtracked by Arca (who also stormed the catwalk), but this new creative partnership – he tells Dazed they have recorded “40 to 50 tracks” – is much more intimate and erotic. “Usually, sensuality is associated with a relaxed languour or scented candles. But this is sensuality that is hyper-charged,” he says. “It’s amplified and erratic. Any minor movement made within that spectrum of sensuality is exacerbated and exaggerated.”
Utilising the power of drama, sex and the grotesque, Arca continues to venture into unexplored territory, creating art that transcends preconceived notions of gender, sexuality and sound.