After 2016’s SOMA EP with hints of house and garage, comes ‘LIVID’ with its eyes firmly on the dance floor. Snippets of conversation overheard in the smoking area with music leaking from both rooms one and two, metallic, industrial, menacing and ominous, faded neon lit synths stabbing through the smoke bringing Arca’s sonic world building together with the dark city streets of Burial against a crumbling Blade Runner metropolis. This is the future in a post AI world, the human voice smeared and melded with the digital.
LIVID starts with ‘Pact From Below’, a representation of darkness, not just in the sense of evil but also from a raw, primal perspective. Building through the first track, the mechanical landscape reaches saturation on the lo fi industrial-edged ‘Casting Shadows’: “Alongside the synths, blended field recordings were crucial to achieve the hectic factory ambience I needed, full of smoke, heat and sweat.” Hugo explains.
Flipping the record we leave the industrial behind and time travel to the far future. ’Substance’, track three, sees a collaboration between azul-revolto and Algebra label head Casually Here with the two melding the worlds of their previous releases. ‘Hearing Hugo’s music for the first time I felt an immediate musical kinship with him. The collaboration came really easily with Hugo sending the skeleton of a track and me fleshing it out with synths before sending the project back and forth between London and Lisbon. The whole thing was done through the internet with us only meeting and talking for the first time after having finished it which fits the ideas behind the record.’
‘LIVID’ ends with the introspective digital choirs of ‘Out Of Phase’. Hugo explained ‘Imagine a solo shuttle mission into the cosmic ‘ocean’, the mind focusing on naked conscious thoughts, the layers covering your core nature surely being revealed.’
Discussing the artwork, visual collaborator David Bastos said ‘The digital cover represents a symbolic melding of elements, being forged into a whole. Each of the four elements on the stamped vinyl label represent a specific track suggesting an underlying narrative running through the EP.’
As the first white label dance release on Algebra, it’s a step into a new space, falling somewhere between genres, into a club we want to go to.