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Actress - LXXXVIII 2LP

Actress - LXXXVIII 2LP

Ninja Tune

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Welcome to ‘LXXXVIII’ – the ninth Actress album to be created by Actress (Darren Cunningham) and the very first presentation of Actress’ voyage into luxury sonics.
A lifetime in the making, ‘LXXXVIII’ is the culmination of 25 years’ honing mind-shorting, soul-igniting audio infusions for dance floors, rave dens, festivals, and concert halls.
‘LXXXVIII’ pays dividends to meditate on an instrumental facet of its creation: game theory. Indeed, deep strategic thinking – more readily associated with economics and chess than artistic practice – was fundamental to Actress’ process as ‘LXXXVIII’ was channelled into existence.
‘LXXXVIII’ includes the recent avant-garde-influenced single “Push Power ( a 1 )”, a track which laid the groundwork for the coming album, acting as the first move in an intricate chess game. With each thoughtful move the game grows and develops over time - something we can hear reflected in the textured and delicate layers of the track. "( a 1 ) - The first move" comments Cunningham. Today he shares “Game Over ( e 1 )”, a new single from the album which signals the final, closing move.

For not only does chess reflect the precise physicality of the artist’s material interactions in his studio, it also illustrates the intricate and tactical, internal and aesthetic battles which brokered ‘LXXXVIII'’’s creation. Recently Darren challenged people to play a bullet round of chess against him online, which then led the opponent to a site that hosted a trailer of the forthcoming album.

The release follows 2022’s mesmerising 'Dummy Corporation', which placed Actress firmly back in the centre of underground club culture. Prior to that his 2020 album ‘Karma & Desire’ — which saw guest collaborations from Mercury Prize winner Sampha, Zsela and Aura T-09 — was received to widespread acclaim, with The Guardian commenting the album “cements his place as one of the great poets of club culture”.

Having first premiered ‘LXXXVIII’s lead single “Push Power ( a 1 )” on the iconic IICON stage at this year’s Glastonbury festival, where he played straight after Four Tet, the album release also arrives off the back of a recent live performance at Field Day in London, one of his largest live shows this year in which he showcased ‘Grey Interiors’ - an A/V project in collaboration with experimental creative studio Actual Objects who’ve worked with the likes of ShyGirl, Kali Uchis, LSDXOXO and have presented work at Coachella and 180 The Strand’s Futureshock exhibition.