Arp: New Pleasures LP
Arp, a.k.a. Alexis Georgopoulos, makes his anticipated return to Mexican Summer with the second chapter in his ZEBRA trilogy. New Pleasures advances the narrative begun with 2018's acclaimed ZEBRA; pastoral in mood, expansive in style, the record acted as a dawn on a nascent, Edenic landscape, reminiscent of a beautiful, long-lost Fourth World album. Now, Arp drops us deep into the grid of the city. New Pleasures fast-forwards a few centuries, locating listeners in a post-industrial Sprawl (to borrow an expression from William Gibson's Neuromancer) of concrete and glass, imbuing the album with the flinty glow of commerce, the sleek rhythms of industrialization, and the cool finesse of brutalism. The result is a vivid, deconstructed take on high-definition pop, avant-garde, and dance music forms; a prismatic inquiry into machine sentience, the economy of desire, and myriad forms of possession. By turns imaginative, cheeky, and energetic, it’s Arp’s most experimental and yet most alluringly accessible work to date.