NONPLUS+ (NONPLUS010, 12” + digital)
After the bombshell that is “Splazsh”, Actress has been measuring out his public appearances. And he always chose unexpected places to do so: lately, he hasn’t released anything on Honest Jon’s nor on his own Werk label, and the two singles he did release after last year’s LP were on Nonplus+, the label headed by the men from Instra:mental. They’re certainly not drum’n’bass records, as that’s not Actress’ game, although they are strictly abstract and very hypnotic, as if the textures we directed by the pendular motion of a pocket watch in the hands of Mesmer himself. On these two cuts, Darren J. Cunningham might be somewhat lazy: the structures aren’t very clearly outlined and they are too repetitive, with a loop without hardly any variation –something we don’t necessarily oppose, but it’s not very like Actress– but there is one detail that makes us arch our eyebrows (in admiration) when the needle kisses the groove: Actress removes the Detroit influence and embraces the British one. On “Harrier ATTK” there are traces of early Sabres Of Paradise: the nocturnal sound, the dub effects, the narcotic sensation. On “Gershwin”, without moving away from the obvious Andrew Weatherall influence (this time in relation to his Two Lone Swordsmen project), the beat is electro and convulsive, the track arches like a dog trying to scratch at its fleas. What it lacks is a coup de théâtre, a more audacious development –“Harrier ATTK” only offers one variation, “Gershwin” finishes with an abrupt fade-out–, but if we look at it as a single of outlines sketches, this 12” does provides some interesting ideas. After all, this is Actress we’re talking about.
Actress - Gershwin