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Actress Announces New Album
Rory Gibb , February 21st, 2012 08:44

R.I.P for release through Honest Jon's in April

Actress has announced the release of his new album, his first full-length since 2010's stunning Splazsh. Entitled R.I.P, it will be released through Honest Jon's on April 20th.

Exciting news indeed - if his previous work is anything to go by, we could be looking at one of the finest albums of 2012. Actress, aka Darren Cunningham, is one of the most unique figures to have emerged from the loose scene surrounding the UK's bass-driven electronic music, though he has always been something of an outlier. When most were still finding new ways to reimagine dubstep, he was deconstructing techno into lopsided, paranoid sketches on debut album Hazyville. His last full-length, 2010's Splazsh, was a modern classic, a very UK-sounding techno album whose worldview was unlimited by the genre's usual conventions. Instead it pushed outward, twisting its skunked-out atmosphere into any number of shapes. Since then his music's traveled down even more oblique pathways, with a number of free tracks released through Twitter last year ranging from short, static-ridden vignettes to beautiful, gamelan-esque melodic compositions ('Parallel World'). More recently still, he's released a solo 12" through Honest Jon's (the appropriately titled 'Rainy Dub') and two wild contributions to the label's Shangaan Shake remixes series.

Gamelan, in fact, comes up in the blurb surrounding the upcoming release of R.I.P. It's apparently set to travel even further into the idiosyncratic depths of his previous material, a space where "rhythms and pulses are smudged or blurred, or are hinted at by their absence... 2-step garage is collided into gamelan, and freeform interludes explore microtonal spaces and imagined string instruments."

The sounds that R.I.P is based around are apparently completely self-generated, eschewing the use of software synths, and instead are created by Cunningham's onging experimentation in the studio.

“It's like painting with button and sliders," he says of his approach. “Melting and dripping, seeping yourself liquid into the machinery.... I can't explain how I made those tracks, it's just impossible,” he says. “I have a hard time comprehending it myself sometimes.” 

According to Cunningham, both Milton's Paradise Lost and Jamie James' The Music Of The Spheres were inspirations on the album's theme and its chronology. That something that's clearly visible in the album's tracklist, which runs as follows:

'Holy Water'
'Marble Plexus'
'Uriel's Black Harp'
'Shadow From Tartarus'
'Tree Of Knowledge'
'Caves Of Paradise'
'The Lord's Graffiti'