Review Summary: Hybrids
Actress is certainly one of the more interesting producers plying his trade in London these days. His excellent debut Hazyville
showed that he wasn’t content with chasing his tail around the dark and deadly corners of his own sprawling metropolis; it was obvious that he’d spent a good deal of time wandering the dirty streets of Detroit and Berlin. Splazsh
continues this trend; it’s a nomadic record, a well thought out and occasionally fascinating work that sets the standard for intelligent electronica.
The majority of the tracks are characterised by throbbing synths and slow percussion, with the icing on the musical cake provided by squealing melodies or jerky beeps that lacerate the soft rhythmic underbelly. Hubble
, with its slowly pulsating synthline, sets the template for what follows; this is music intended to make you move, but created with enough skill to ensure multiple listens are needed to fully appreciate it.
is an enthralling six minute journey through shadowy streets where grey hooded silhouettes appear fleetingly, drenched in the amber rays of a crippled streetlight, before merging once more into the impenetrable dark. The scattered sighs that echo from the somnolent depths provide the albums greatest moment; cold electronics fuse with a nervous and troubled humanity to sublime and utterly compelling effect.
Polar opposite Purrple Splazsh
is yet another testament to his skill, for a completely different reason. It’s a sharp, focused banger featuring an erratic guitar riff, cut up vocals and pounding drums. Actress knows how to party as well as enthral; this one begs to be played though a massive sound system at maximum volume.
In the end, it’s Actress’ uncanny ability to draw dichotomous sounds from all over the sonic spectrum and weave them together into an intricate web that makes Splazsh
stand out from the crowd; Actress is a musical globetrotter, and he’s not afraid to admit it.
An intriguing listen, and easily greater than the sum of its parts.