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Actress: AZD review – electronic maverick gets playfully deep | Musique Non Stop

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Actress: AZD review – electronic maverick gets playfully deep

(Ninja Tune)

Banishing the spectre of retirement raised on 2014’s Ghettoville, Wolverhampton-born electronic producer Darren Cunningham returns with his Actress persona revamped and his sound reanimated by such typically high-flown inspirations as chrome, universal consciousness and the art of James Hampton. Rather than arcane and austere, though, his fifth album is by turns bleakly beautiful and playfully rampant: X22REME’s fast and funky techno disports itself with snorting minotaur synths and a deep discussion about meaning, while Dancing in the Smoke builds from dark, dubsteppy atmospherics through an itchy, tense rhythm to what sounds like a galactic synth battle. Runner, meanwhile, offers a spry re-soundtracking of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, with its cap also doffed to Blue Monday, while CYN fractures a sample of NYC hip-hop hero Rammellzee hypnotically through heavy synths and lurching machine rhythm, and Faure in Chrome metes out similar treatment to the composer’s Requiem. It all adds up to a deep, rewarding record from a musician with many roles left to play.

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by Emily Mackay via Electronic music | The Guardian
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