Actress
Ghettoville


4.0
excellent

Review

by MisterTornado CONTRIBUTOR (47 Reviews)
February 12th, 2014 | 89 replies


Release Date: 01/27/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Capturing the darkness of human nature

It’s the dead of winter and I’m in an airport, cast away to the northern United States. Music selection is vital in this environment, as it’s easily one of the most ideal places to listen to music; being simultaneously a place of atmosphere, wonder, peace, and total chaos. While I’m shuffling through ideas, one strikes me utmost; who better to score my fantastical journey elsewhere than the lonesome dance overlord Actress and his funeral-floor sacrifice Ghettoville. This is particularly exciting, for as of this moment, I haven’t heard Ghettoville, and I will be experiencing it for the first time away from the often coma inducing conditions of a computer chair and laptop. It’s these conditions that can instantly exhaust preliminary listens of an album straight to the unconscious, limping through speakers as drooling background tones in the clutter of the internet and social networking. Just as Actress presents us with his music, this experience is intended to be organic and raw, and as I slip on my over-sized headphones in the airport, I let Ghettoville say the rest.

As I hit play on my digital device the static of a tape player unwinds, a paradox that remains aesthetically in tune throughout Ghettoville. It’s a kind of transporting mechanism that provides us with music filtered through bygone technology that sounds surreal and dreamlike in the wake of our digitally inclined world. Before long this static is buried beneath the trembling, slow-motion funk of ‘Forgiven’, painting a dreary landscape throughout the airport. Suddenly the rapid pace of activity slows and the faces of businessmen and security officers begin to obscure and horrify in the weight of the song’s presence. The rapid pace picks up again on ‘Street Corp’, but becomes fluttered and lost in its helpless disobedience of pattern and rhythm. Here my eyes begin to catch the perplexed faces of the lost searching for their terminals, anxious and overwhelmed expressions as they grip their luggage tightly while walking in circles with their eyes darting in every direction. ‘Corner’ and ‘Rims’ propose a slightly more accessible array of tape buried hand claps and minimal rhythmic oddities, accented by hefty industrial stomps and lethargic acid cycles; ideal for standing against a wall and observing a busy intersection in the inner-city while slightly bopping your head, puffing on a cigarette, and cynically examining the strangeness of life.

These sunken grooves shatter under the density of ‘Contagious’ and its monstrous screwed and chopped leaning bounce, as pitch-dropped vocals tangle within the overdose of drowsy medication, recalling a Hype Williams curated smoke session or a Will Burnett .zip file. When the pills have worn off ‘Birdcage’ rips through with an energetic drum pad exercise, awkwardly stepping its way to the dance floor before being sucked out and into the reflective bass melancholy of ‘Our’, as a distorted voice urges to “slow it down”. ‘Time’ answers the call with a sparse and broken melody under heavy billowing static that (seemingly) attempts to mask repressed memories, while back in the real world I stare out the giant plate glass window hoping my plane will arrive soon, as the hands on the clock move ever so slowly. As time begins to rupture, ‘Towers’ bangs it back with a steady, distorted beat that continues to cycle until its hazy counterpart ‘Gaze’ suggests a coming groove with brief James Brown vocal samples, as the track continues to collect more and more dancey elements until transforming into Ghettoville’s first fully fledged dance track. ‘Skyline’ continues the house vibes, though here its buried, passive, and is drenched in steam jets of noisy exhaust that perfectly score the sounds of activity happening outside the airport walls.

While nearly all of Ghettoville is immersed in dry repetition and slow repeating cycles that can bore, turn off, and reduce listeners to dismissing this as background music, when properly immersed within the confines of the natural world, Ghettoville becomes a completely different experience. The album is a remarkably varied listen that touches everything from the DOOM-esque rhythmic haunt of ‘Image’ to the vinyl digging jumping jacks of ‘Rule’ to the heartbreaking funeral symphony of ‘Grey Over Blue’ all the way to the wonderfully exotic eccojam ‘Rule’, that manages to sound unlike anything Actress has ever constructed. Ghettoville also has something very real to say about the human condition; the sorrowful repetition of days, the exhausting pace of life, and the repressed realities in our lives that we deny to stay comfortable. Actress is quoted in saying, "I approach what I do from a visual perspective, rather than a musical perspective" and that is the very essence of Ghettoville; music composed to capture the natural world. However strange and alienating it can be, Ghettoville is a document of the real world around us, a sonic reality check that is as good or as bad as you choose the world to be.



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user ratings (87)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Olivier De Clercq CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Don't stop the music....


Comments:Add a Comment 
MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I spend a lot of time walking around my neighborhood at night, trying to get the ambience and feel. I walk in the rain, when it’s hot, when it’s cold. What has changed is I’ve come into contact with more people and I’ve been in lots of interesting scenarios, so the darkness of human nature crept into Ghettoville."

'Rap': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5ERDAI5Iww

'Rule': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ8jZG8BtuQ

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is Grey Over Blue actually on this album? It was in all the leaks but I was very sad to see it absent on the record.

Album fucking rules though. Gonna miss Actress for sure.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a Japanese bonus track, but I'd definitely say its apart of the album. Gives it a somber close that I refuse to let go of.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


1622 Comments


Nice review, probably will check this out today.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


6451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very nice review man! Shame they didn't put you on Staff...

And that recommended section is pretty boss.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, give some of those a gander if you get the chance ;)

oltnabrick
February 12th 2014


30904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

back


nice review, like this album a bit

Digging: Rich Gang - Rich Gang: Tha Tour Pt 1

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://thewire.co.uk/archive/issues/361

Further evidence that Darren Cunningham deserves his own action film franchise starring himself as a
moody bounty hunter in a rainy dystopian future city. This is NOT Blade Runner btw (okay, maybe if
Harrison Ford wasn't onboard for a sequel)

Phlegm
February 12th 2014


4806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lovely review for some lovely sounds ❣◕ ‿ ◕❣

Digging: Shivers - Shivers

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

;), hows that new DJ Earl Phlegm?

Phlegm
February 12th 2014


4806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a lil inconsistent, but good enough to make me want to resurrect my white adidas and bust out some http://youtube.com/watch?v=QNmRhw-5gIM

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yess. dusting off my red and white trimmed addidas track suit and ready to get crazy legs. i feel like
footwork albums are bred for inconsistency

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2014


31215 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Gonna miss Actress for sure.


I think it’s reached a conclusion in its current state, definitely. I think it concludes a chapter. But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop, that’s a ludicrous idea. That said, I do feel like that sometimes, day to day. People need to hear that from me, I suppose, that is the reality. That’s part of it, to me – part of the comedy, part of the drama, part of the theatrical nature of what the name Actress always intended.

http://www.factmag.com/2014/02/07/actress-interview-fact-ghettoville-darren-cunningham/

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Havey
February 13th 2014


9690 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Review by MisterTornado

are my eyes deceiving me



oh and of fucking course it's another 4.0 ;]

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was just about to post that Dev. It's interesting how he openly refers to Actress as a character, which only opens up possibilities for other pseudonyms in the future.

This is real life Havey. How's that doru659-core btw?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2014


31215 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Well depending on who you ask, this is Cunningham:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMhF_1YgRbo

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:o well, it certainly sounds like it. looks like we've got another THE TUSS

Havey
February 15th 2014


9690 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

best new doru, oh god it just sounds wonderful, so detailed and unsettling, get on it NOW

you need to start rating again

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2014


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I miss Actress like I don't miss the 80's.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:o awesome. I ALMOST got around to listening to Sky Burial last year so, looks like its time to hear what this is all about

All of these revivals are making the 80s hard to miss



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