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AZD (Indie Exclusive Colored Vinyl) Vinyl 2LP

Ninja TuneSKU lp-8632

5th album from shadowy UK techno auteur
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  • Lab Overview
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  • Review & Q+A
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Lab Overview

Darren Cunningham loves to keep us guessing. A press release surrounding Ghettoville, his previous full-length as Actress, purported to be his last under the guise. Then, this spring, Ninja Tune announced a brand new album from the British producer with no explanation for the comeback. In the interim since Ghettoville, Cunningham collaborated with Inga Copeland and stepped out on a few friendly labels for clandestine releases under a slew of secret aliases, but unfortunately for his humble efforts, the Actress touch is unmistakeable. Cunningham writes in a musical language all his own; the smudged kicks and crunchy snares that pervade his work are what a TR-808 might have sounded like if it were built by aliens and rinsed through decades of musical tradition in a parallel universe. Actress uses this language to create highly functional techno steppers and deeply effective beatless pieces that sound unlike any of his peers. On AZD, we are treated to the very best of Actress’ many hats. The record is an amalgam of every Actress full-length to date: there are bits of Splazsh’s twisted purple techno (“Blue Window”, “Visa”), R.I.P.’s utopian ambient (“Falling Rizlas”, “There’s An Angel In The Shower”), Ghettoville’s lo-fi sleaze (“Cyn”, “Dancing In The Smoke”) and Hazyville’s punchy machine funk (“Fantasynth”, “Runner”). As per usual, Cunningham digs deep into the canon of recorded music and literature for stimulation; this time citing NYC rapper & graffiti writer Ramellzee (sampled on "Cyn"), James Hampton, Blade Runner and more for inspiration. The results are characteristically dreamy, favoring the odd and disorienting nature of dreams over the ethereal (choice quote from a press release: "AZD in a Peckham Cafe realises his barber has over the years etched a faded scroll into his head using early 80s African synthpop as a vexing serum"). This deluxe clear double vinyl version comes in a gorgeous jacket with printed inner sleeves, all housed in a chrome silver outer bag, limited to 500 copies. Recommended.

  • deluxe double vinyl pressing
  • printed inner sleeves
  • silver chrome outer bag
  • 500 copies pressed
  • digital download included
  • music label: Ninja Tune 2017
reviewed by peanut dust 05/2017
UPC: 86208008


Review & Q+A


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