Fanatically assembling emotions and mental inductions that range from psychotropic industrialism to claustrophobic astral ascents; we once again face an Actress audio communion. Darren Cunningham’s patient obsession has crafted a paranoid, neurotic electronic journey that thrives on momentum. This, his third LP, takes us even further towards a mercurial melting point. neo-industrial grooves are offset by blistered melodic fissures which crackle alone at the furthest reaches of modern influence. If the mechanised loops of the album references Carl Craig, Georgio Moroder, Basic Channel or Fritz Lang then the sizzling detail and caustic surfaces are Cunningham’s alone.
This music is insular; we are treated as voyeurs, merely privy to a man’s nocturnal compulsion. ‘Marble Plexus’ is corroded in texture and cast from the endless rotation of warehouse era techno. Equally ‘Shadow From Tartarus’ is a narcotic slab of sound which may never be imitated such is the depth of its Actress’s mutation.
The pervasion of corrupted spaces and vast spectrums are further exacerbated by Cunningham’s adoption of themes from Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ and Jamie James’s ‘The Music of The Spheres’. Yet it’s equally as forward thinking as some dystopian space tragedy no-one but the producer has thought to daub on the walls of his South London studio.
‘R.I.P.’ is both an update on the bass explorations of restless Britain and perhaps a timeless thesaurus of blistered tones and ideas that younger producers will beg, borrow and steal from for years to come. Long live ‘R.I.P.’
Words by MATTHEW BENNETT