Actress – Ghettoville

Werkdiscs/Ninja Tune

Actress has never made the same album twice. In fact he hasn’t even come close with each progressive release giving little indication of what came before it. Coming as a bit of a surprise then was the announcement that the project’s Darren Cunningham would be looking back to 2008’s Hazyville for his new Ghettoville LP which has been labelled a sequel in both style and feel.

From the get-go it’s clear that Ghettoville is a far cry from the more lush and produced minimal techno of Splazsh (2010) and R.I.P. (2012) instead employing a decidedly rough and lo-fi approach to dubstep-tinted electronics à la Hazyville . More often than not the resulting soundscapes are dark claustrophobic and downright unsettling trading any pretty bits for a thick layer of urban-inspired dirt and grime.

“Rap” utilizes codeine-laced beatwork and demonically slowed R&B vocals. “Forgiven” borders on drug-fucked post-punk minimalism. And “Skyline” plays out like some nightmarish reimagining of Daft Punk’s “Around the World” on a triple tab of acid.

It’s by no means an easy sell as the album’s art-damaged techno pulls you ever deeper into the industrial concrete jungle that is Ghettoville . But sometimes it’s nice to wallow in the depths.