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Format: LP


Audiopile Review: Darren Cunningham aka Actress long ago ascended to needs-no-introduction status. And yet, you never know what you’re going to get with Actress. While building a career on moody beats and lo-fi grooves, he’s taken detours into celestial minimalism and neo-classicist concept albums. So, maybe it should be no surprise to find Actress releasing his new album, ‘Statik’, via Oslo-based experimental label Smalltown Supersound. But he got us again. We did not see it coming. And that goes for the music too, of course. Sure, all the chiming tones, grainy textures, and highly compressed sonics you’d expect are in place. But, as the whole label issue might lead you to expect, this is Actress at his most experimental. Glitchy, abstract, and occasionally beatless, ‘Statik’ nonetheless has a deep, nocturnal groove you can sink right into. The early-Aphex-esque ‘Ray’ is particularly dreamy. As with the Aphex Twin, it can be easy to take an institution like Darren Cunningham for granted, despite his history of startling left turns. ‘Statik’ proves he’s still capable of producing some of the best, most coherent work of his career. It demands, and will richly reward, your undivided attention.


Actress’ tenth studio album, the celestial and expansive Statik, is released June 7th via Smalltown Supersound.

The collaboration between Darren Cunningham and the esteemed Oslo-based purveyors of elevated sonics evolved organically following Actress’ remix of a Carmen Villain cut for the 12” of her Only Love From Now On LP.

In this vein, the entire Statik project, from conception through creation and release, has been blessed with an almost unnatural ease. For Actress, who wrote the majority of his subtly majestic new record in an extensive flow state, the project serves as a cohesive testament to artistic liberation.

Resultantly, Cunningham’s new album is imbued with a sense of freedom. And of stillness. The kind of stillness within artistic motion that arises via the deepest states of flow. Once ‘inside’ the Statik experience, listeners may well find themselves newly calm and meditative.

Of course, those well-versed in Actress’s works are well-travelled when it comes to fantastical flights of the mind. Transportive sonics that spark inner-voyages – whether through nocturnal cityscapes, or far above and beyond, through Saturn’s rings and past Pluto’s moons – are prime Cunningham terrain. Yet while Statik is unmistakably an Actress LP, it’s also distinctly aquatic and subtly primordial, and so offers his audience novel elemental atmospheres to flow through. Listening closely, influential visions of aqueous realms, such as the mythic Atlantis, and evocations of ancient ceremonies as well as flying birds (and, perhaps, humans) may reveal themselves.

No matter if Statik inspires you to soar above or below the horizon, Actress and Smalltown Supersound promise you a safe and transcendent journey.

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