[ Ninja Tune / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 23 October 2020
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British electronic musician Actress aka Darren Jordan Cunningham, known to his friends as DAZ, is back in true form with Karma & Desire - his most accessible yet complex album - featuring an incredible cast of collaborators including Aura T-09, Danish singer Rebekah Christel, Mercury Prize winner Sampha, Italian pianist and conductor Vanessa Benelli Mosell and singer and songwriter Zsela.
Several of the tracks on Karma & Desire find Darren Cunningham leaning into the sort of hazy, slightly hypnagogic synthscapes which have cropped up repeatedly throughout his output as Actress. It is a sound which means that Karma & Desire can count both Dean Blunt and David Lynch as points of reference. When house and techno beats enter the fray they almost emerge out of these synthetic fogs - even the more lively joints still crackle and hiss with an alluring softness. In this manner, Karma & Desire harks back to previous Actress releases such as AZD, though there is often a wintry quality to the more beat-driven tracks here which mark them out as unique to this album.
There are several moments on Karma & Desire where Actress follows his nose to end up in electronic terrain that is difficult to name. Furthermore, the points where the piano is played, frequently deliver some of the most beautiful moments here.
Karma & Desire brings a surreal beauty to Actress' typically innovative brand of electronic composition.
Fire and Light
Angels Pharmacy (feat. Zsela)
Remembrance (feat. Zsela)
Leaves Against The Sky
VVY (feat. Sampha)
Many Seas, Many Rivers (feat. Sampha)
Loveless (feat. Aura T-09)
Public Life (Performed by Vanessa Benelli Mosell)
Loose (feat. Christel Well)
Turin (feat. Aura T-09)
Walking Flames (feat. Sampha)