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1 review | 11 people love this record: be the 12th! Perhaps Darren Cunningham should have reserved the title of his previous album (R.I.P) for his latest sprawling opus ‘Ghettoville’. The word on the streets of the information superhighway is that this is the final album from Actress. Whether that is in fact true, and whether it is just that particular alias that is taking early retirement remains to be seen. Reasons at this point remai ... »

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REVIEWS

Ghettoville by Actress
1 review. Add your own review.
11 people love this record. Be the 12th!
8/10 Ant Staff review, 23 January 2014

Perhaps Darren Cunningham should have reserved the title of his previous album (R.I.P) for his latest sprawling opus ‘Ghettoville’. The word on the streets of the information superhighway is that this is the final album from Actress. Whether that is in fact true, and whether it is just that particular alias that is taking early retirement remains to be seen. Reasons at this point remain a mystery but the “Grey Over Blue” 12” as the name suggests more than indicated an artist operating in a somber mood to say the least. If it is indeed the case I think he can rest assured that he’s left a body of work that will continue to reward both old and new listeners.

Before the final curtain hypothetically closes he leaves us with a seventeen track triple LP with an etching on the final side. For the hardcore fans the album is available as a deluxe box set complete with his debut album Hazyville appearing in there for the first time ever on wax as well as both albums on CD and a 40 page art book, so a desirable package I’m sure you’ll agree.

As I write, I think this is either the fourth or fifth time I’ve played the album. Albums rarely get that amount of play from me in such a short space of time and it’s not because I think it’s amazing but because I just can’t quite work out what it is that’s so intriguing. It’s like a puzzle where each time you add a new piece or remove one something new is revealed. There’s really quite a lot to absorb across the album. There are moments which are initially reasonably unmemorable, interspersed with some more immediate catchy hooks. Odd parts reminding me of everything from Ambient Works Vol 1 era Aphex Twin to Fennesz working in a fictional hip-hop mode but really it sounds like nobody else.

Once again Actress obliterates any distinction between genres, totally smudging techno, house, bass music, electronica, hip-hop, warped soul and so on into his own very distinctive sound that absolutely reeks of the finest ganja smoke and with a tantalizing grubby lo-fi production aesthetic throughout. A few tracks really don’t resonate with me at all but some of them are absolutely ace. If he’s really taking an early bath then he’s most definitely bowing out in fine style in my opinion however I'm sure a lot of folk would find it just too miserable and gloomy sounding.


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