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actress - Splazsh
After crafting one of the most enduring albums of the last few years with 2008's 'Hazyville', Actress sets his sights on the future with a crucial LP for Honest Jon's. This album signifies two important points; firstly, the fact that Honest Jon's are putting this out at all acknowledges Mr Cunningham's place in the lineage of potentially classic Afrofuturistic music, from George Clinton through Prince and Shake Shakir, and secondly, a major maturity and cohesion in his sound. Wheras it's predecessor was composed over a staggered period of many, many years, this album was fashioned in a fraction of that time, lending a tangible symmetry between these shapeshifting tracks that's as loose as it is detached from the rest of the modern herd. Of the 14 tracks he's selected, we've previously encountered the first two, with the unstable space float of 'Hubble' appearing on a shady Thriller 12" and his remix of Various Production's 'Lost' reminding us how good his most overlooked cuts can be. From here in it's all about that next-level longing, sealing the airlock and initiating pressure sequence with 'Futureproofing', before laying down the robo-boogie with 'Always Human'. Showing a teflon resistance towards easy categorisation, 'Get Ohn (Fairlight Mix)' swerves down a side street into a footwurkin' face-off by cyborgs sliding to a mutilated mix of Jon E Cash and Chez Damier played underwater. Next we hit the erogenous interzone of 'Maze' and that incapacitatingly lush bassline designed to lock into your central nervous system and send shockwaves of piloerection to every f*cking corner of your soul. After that, we're cynically dumped, cold post-sex style into the Ferraro-esque Prince tribute 'Purple Splazsh', and on into the Detroit ghetto stalk of 'Let's Fly'. The dissonant robo-crunk of 'The Kettle Men' and closing entry 'Casanova' confirm that if anything, the man is only suffering from a surfeit of ideas and expanded technical expertise. Which is never a bad thing. If you want music that enhances or removes you from your own reality like the most visceral sci-fi novel or confirms that there is a sprawling future beyond the stasis of too much modern music, this is just absolutely vital listening.