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Actress – Harrier ATTK review

Darren Cunningham returns to the business of releasing records for the first time since his stunning 2010 long player, Splazsh. Releasing on Instra:mental’s Nonplus for the second time, almost a year to the day since his first 12″ on the imprint, Actress drops two tracks of his idiosyncratic brand of muggy electronica.

The thick compression and hazy, undulating Detroit chords on “Harrier ATTK” sees Cunningham once again succeed in creating a dense soundscape in which deft samples and effects-laden instrumentation throb and pulse almost of their own accord. It immediately carves out an eerie, introspective, cavernous soundscape with little embellishment or sonic adornment save for a few creaks and crackles. Instead, it’s got that heavy, hazy atmospheric pressure, and this seems to dominate the track for the duration, coupled with a deeply hypnotic pull and humming electro synth riff.

In contrast, “Gershwin” flips the proverbial lid with a decidedly more lively venture, characterised by intricate drum programming, experimental sci-fi sounds and flurry of textured SFX which fidget around, colourful in a Night Slugs way, and never sitting still for more than a moment. It’s certainly more sketch like in quality, shorter in length with fuzzy, muffled drum programming flung around with reckless abandon beneath distorted synths. A glorious return for Actress.

Belinda Rowse