ACTRESS - Splazsh (Front Cover)
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Darren Cunningham's 2008 debut Hazyville was a wonderful journey though a myriad of disparate influences, from Detroit techno to glitchy electronica and dubstep. Here we see the Werk Discs chief revisit some of those influences but also tread new ground with his follow up LP, Splazsh. It's a startling journey: every track on here is worth listening to, digesting, and listening to again. "Lost" is one of the more tender moments on the album, with a female vocal draped over a rolling synth line and metallic snare. "Bubble Butts & Equation" would be the perfect theme song should the world come to as sudden and messy end, while "Always Human" has the squelchy leftfield techno sound of Anthony Shake Shakir. "Maze" is one of the album's true highlights, a stunningly simple piece that shows how beautiful electronic music can be when stripped back to its bare bones, while the broken beat of "Purrple Splazsh" once again shows Cunningham's deft touch with sampling. Even the weird, experimental tracks toward the end are deliciously rich and textured, including the superbly titled "Supreme Cunnilingus". With so many ideas crammed into 14 songs it's a wonder Cunningham has ended up with such a perfect little album, but on Splazsh that is not the case. This could only have been made in 2010 and that, above all else, it what makes Splazsh so special. One for the ages.

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