The London producer Darren Cunningham doesn’t exactly make techno or dubstep or ambient music, though he certainly touches on all those. Even when he’s tried to describe his own music it doesn’t quite fit (he called 2010’s Splazsh “R&B concrète”), and it was occasionally tricky to find where to place it. But with his last album, 2012’s R.I.P, most were finally content accepting that Actress just makes music that sounds like nothing else. Over the last six years that sound has established him as one of the titans of electronic music.
Today out of nowhere he announced a new single available in stores in the UK tomorrow and in the US on Monday. You can listen to the murky, lonely A-side below for an idea of how few fucks Cunningham gives about things like consistent BPMs, catchiness, or fidelity. This is some of his most unsettling work, drawing you in with a meditative slow groove and blown-out beats. For eight minutes he gradually envelopes you in his deeply surreal and vaguely creepy world, a world that he has named Ghettoville.
Though this single does not appear on Cunningham’s upcoming fourth album, which bears that title (a sequel to his debut Hazyville, he says) this is very much an idea of that album’s atmosphere and tone. Lately there have been oblique messages hinting that Ghettoville may be the last Actress project. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but even if that is the case it won’t be all that bad. Having pored over Ghettoville for sometime, I’ll only say for now it’s the sort of album most producers only wish they could go out on.
The “Grey Over Blue/Wee Bey” 12″ is out tomorrow via Cunningham’s label Werkdiscs and Ninja Tune, who will put out Ghettoville on 1/28.