IDM is an annoying label, for one it stands for “intelligent dance music”, and second it assumes superiority immediately just from the name. It doesn’t help that its fans are some of the most obnoxious music elitists one could ever hope to not meet. But Darren Cunningham’s latest release R.I.P. (as Actress) is actually deserving of the title – half of the record doesn’t have beats – he seems to have very little interest in getting people on the dancefloor.
Previous releases Splazh (described vaguely as ‘r’n’b concrete’ by Cunningham) told us nothing about his future direction, in fact no Actress record had stuck to any kind of template. Cunningham’s the kind of dance producer who can produce vastly disparate works in his oeuvre just like that. Grimy ambient track like ‘Tree of Knowledge’ is put side by side with dirty house ‘Shadow of Tartarus’, his MO here is good ol’ musical chiaroscuro; making tracks as dirty as they’re clean.
His vocabulary of dance music could probably envelop genre compatriots like Zomby and Burial’s music at their most abstract. If this were JUICE’s first featured album, we could wax lyrical about the accomplishments of the album. So just take our word for it in this sentence-long summary; R.I.P. marries the familiarity of techno with the abstraction of minimalist and ambient, marring none of the genres and coalescing into something of a transcendental dance record.
LISTEN TO: ‘Shadow of Tartarus’, ‘Tree of Knowledge’, ‘Holy Water’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Zomby, Burial, Disrupt