Video - Arca & Jesse Kanda, 'Now You Know'
Jesse Kanda turns out another video winner for brain-melting producer Arca.
24 year-old, Venezuelan-born, London-residing music producer/mixing engineer Arca’s forthcoming full length studio release, Xen, comes out tomorrow, a year on from Arca’s stunning mixtape &&&, and EP Stretch 2. Prior to its release, he’s just put out a video for title track Now You Know, directed/created by Jesse Kanda. Given Kanda’s work for Arca so far has been mostly confronting, his video for Now You Know, seems a lot more tame in comparison, but hugely captivating, all the same.
Dalston-based, Japanese born video artist Jesse Kanda has been friends with Arca for ten years (they met on the internet at age 14) and is currently touring the UK with Arca, providing visuals for all of his shows, is behind the camera for the track’s video. Kanda has collaborated with Arca previously on a video for Arca’s track Thievery, and on a film project called Trauma (which played at the Museum of Modern Art) where the two explored a beauty/repulsion dynamic, through the use of animated disfigured faces and bodies of babies and shots from inside mouths and throats.
As to be expected, the video is an absolute complement to Arca’s work, inside out (“Our personal work is completely in unison,” said Kanda to Dazed Digital of his creative relationship with Arca.) The uncomplicated but mesmerising few minutes of film explores light through luminous shards of burning firework embers; you experience the grandeur of a fireworks show from the exact spot the fireworks explode. A camera pans sideways through various concoctions of colour before settling on a slow-motion, constant shower of midnight blue fireworks.
If you’re not familiar with Kanda’s filmic inclinations, this video of liquefied, morphing formations he made for one of FKA Twigs’ early tracks, How’s That, is an excellent entry point (Arca initially introduced Kanda to Twigs):
The Guardian called Arca’s style “a kind of post-millennial take on trip-hop, with a debt to Aphex Twin,” – to that we’d add that it’s a ‘big’ sound – regardless of what direction it takes mood-wise, you can always expect expansive, richly textured output from Arca. He works like a composer – the thirty minute long &&& was a really true way to reflect that. For the most part, Arca’s listener base has mostly been future-music embracing, underground fans – until he made some twisted beats for four tracks on Kanye West’s Yeezus, which grew his public profile significantly in a super short period of time.
Kanye West, Send it Up (production by Arca):
His rumoured collaboration with Bjork is sure to take him into relative superstardom – kind of crazy given you’d expect the majority of casual club music listeners to still find his style incredibly nice – despite his rising profile Arca’s work remains challenging and, well, kind of affronting and nightmarish. Or haunting, if you’re the type that’s predisposed to find beauty in the scariest nightmares :)
Arca’s album Xen is out in Australia on November 7 through Create / Control. The album is available via digital download (pre-order through iTunes here) and CD. There’s a special vinyl format also being released, hand-numbered and sealed in black PVC, and including a bonus 10” record of exclusive material unavailable anywhere else. It’s limited to 500 copies and has unfortunately already sold out :( however a regular vinyl edition is still available.