Xen

Arca - Xen
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2014 Ratings: #129 / 953
User Score
Based on 278 ratings
2014 Ratings: #195
Liked by 4 people
November 4, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mute / Label
Wonky, Glitch Hop / Genres
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arca1000000.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Exclaim!

Fans of his hip-hop and R&B work will certainly be challenged by the sparse and experimental nature of Xen, which makes it one of the most satisfying listens of the year.

85
The Line of Best Fit

Not many records can worm their way into your mind so successfully – this is abyssal electronica with a tormented bent and visions of nowt but pitch black pits of despair.

84
Pitchfork

Taken as a whole, it is an album about unstable unities, things that cannot easily hold together, wholes breaking to pieces and being put back together again in new and unfamiliar shapes.

80
The Skinny

The album is a slow starter, however once immersed there's no point of return, with the title track exploding before your ears, while the world of Slit Thru carves a scene where drowning and dancing are one and the same.

80
AllMusic

The way Arca plays with and decorates time, letting sounds and moods mutate spontaneously, makes Xen a complete picture of his artistry and also promises much more.

80
DIY

Contorting his sounds into discordant beauty and cacophony, Arca’s ‘Xen’ is full of gorgeously haunting contradictions. Intent on terrifying one second and cushioning with spectral beds of sound the next, it’s a record that’s hard to keep up with.

70
Tiny Mix Tapes

It’s a gracefully self-contained ecology — a sonic environment rich with empty and warm spaces, within which the listener is urged to breathe more easily and share in a queer feeling of belonging.

70
Resident Advisor

An album that's never quite what you want it to be, nor for that matter is it any one thing for more than a few minutes.

60
Rolling Stone

What sets these tracks apart from any trend, current or foreseeable, is their emotional punch. Arca has built a robotic, alien world strengthened by its beating heart.

ACreativeName
55
cool sounds and textures bro, it would be cool if you made fully fleshed out songs with them, that would be nice wouldn't it haha
MothaOfMotha12
NR
thicc.
Plats
69
Arca continues to work her alien soundscapes and glitchy production on "Xen", and it all sounds great. The problem is that some of these ideas never evolve into anything climactic.

Fav Tracks: Xen, Bullet Chained, Theivery, Held Apart, Sad Bitch, Sisters, Tongue

Least Fav Track: Family Violence

Score:
6.9
Decent
holsgr
77
☆☆☆½ — remarkable
lovecycles
78
xen is a being that never takes quite the form you'd expect or want it to take

strings and arpeggios and other elements of classical music unite with alien, ambient, sensual and chilling electronic sounds in a soft, tender dance, building shapes of a strange, melancholic yet beautiful landscape, like a portal to a dimension crafted by arca herself

it's dramatic, telling us voiceless stories of trauma and sadness and sex. but the flame of interest initially brought us by the first songs really ... read more
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Track List

  1. Now You Know
  2. Held Apart
  3. Xen
  4. Sad Bitch
  5. Sisters
  6. Slit Thru
  7. Failed
  8. Family Violence
  9. Thievery
  10. Lonely Thugg
  11. Fish
  12. Wound
  13. Bullet Chained
  14. Tongue
  15. Promise
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Added on: September 11, 2014