It's hard to believe we've come this far. Actress has dropped his fourth album on us and it's his murkiest to date. Ghettoville, reportedly Darren Cunningham's final album under his Actress moniker, is intended to close the cycle initiated by his debut LP, Hazyville. His second full length, Splazsh, refined the decomposing techno of his debut and influenced a whole genre of imitators. R.I.P. took us from there to an entirely new sonic plane, somewhere beyond the industrial haze. With Ghettoville were taken back to earth after a burning reentry through the atmosphere. We're visiting the planet in some post apocalyptic state, everything grey and suffering for air. It's going to take some effort to get through the smog and see some light. That effort is worth it though. Think of the first part of the album as a challenge. From the opening track, "Forgiven," straight through "Contagious" you're going to need a gas mask in order to breath. Things begin to change with the disjointed rhythms of "Birdcage" and begin to brighten with the Aphexian melodies of "Our." Consider it your reward and a sign of what lays ahead. Cunningham is ready to take you somewhere different. So lets hope that there is more in store once Actress is put to bed. If the journey is really over, that is. Triple LP housed in a die-cut sleeve, Side F is etched with a triangle shape.
- music label: Ninja Tune 2014
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 02/2014