There are people who thought Actress, otherwise known as Darren Cunningham, to friends as DAZ, had retired. They were a bit premature. He’s ready instead to return with a new album, now on Ninja Tune and a new music system called AZD (pronounced “Azid”). And to prepare you for what lies ahead here’s the album’s lead track, “X22RME” (pronounced “Extreme”). AZD will be out on April 14th via Ninja Tune.
“I did fifty versions of the same tune” Cunningham recalls. “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 and beautiful all at once, its incredible complexity never overwhelming its drive.
“X22RME” is a key note example of the influence the Black artists James Hampton and Rammellzee had on the creation of the album – a man who created art through “Sourcing castaway materials from their environment and reinterpreting them into absolute majesty given from the fourth dimension.”
As if the record itself isn’t enough, Cunningham is currently preparing a new live show, to be debuted at Convergence Village Underground on March 24th. Presented as AZD, Cunningham says it “will be a test frame for linking circuits using various forms of language — Midi globalised language, Lyrical language, Tikal Graffiti code and various other Synthesiser language — to create one intelligent musical instrument called AZD, if successful it will produce the first translucent, non-soluble communication sound pill synergised through impressionistic interpretations of technological equipment. This is the music vitamin of the Metropolis.”
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