Words by Jack Miller
Actress, real name Darren Jordan Cunningham, returns with a new album drenched in chrome and from out of this world. The mysterious UK producer has announced his new album, AZD (pronounced Azid), out Friday April 14th on Ninja Tune via Inertia Music.
Being an artist who has always preferred to make music rather than talk about it, in AZD Actress has achieved another remarkable landmark, which is both resistant to interpretation yet demands it. Through the chromatic themed concept behind the album, Actress has carved reflective surfaces to see the self in, as well as creating luminous voids out of any idea of colour, finely focusing blacks and whites in perfect metaphor for the bleakness of life in the Metropolis. This is no more apparent than in the lead single from AZD, “X22REME” which elegantly plays between the line of Oriental classic rave and Balinese warehouse techno.
When speaking of the title track, Cunningham said he did fifty versions of the same track, recalling that “different parts were on tape, CD, different old computers and USB sticks, so it was quite intimidating to revisit and complete. The track was in the end built out of 3 hours of different passages.” The finished work is harsh, yet soft and beautiful all at once, with its complexity never overwhelming its underlying drive.
AZD is an album that logically sums complexity with elegance, summed up by Cunningham as “Non dance based civilian mind groove, mapped to an external soul beyond the collapsing black hole…music is chaos R.I.P Music”
Call him what you will, this is the year that Darren ‘Daz’ Cunningham – aka Actress, aka AZD – asserts more clearly than ever before his complete independence.
AZD is set for release on Aril 14 via Ninja Tune and Inertia. Peep the track list below.
2. UNTITLED 7
4. BLUE WINDOW
8. FALLING RIZLAS
9. DANCING IN THE SMOKE
10. FAURE IN CHROME
11. THERE’S AN ANGEL IN THE SHOWER