Albums to watch




Fifth album from the London-based electronic producer and DJ Darren Cunningham

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  1. 10.0 |   A.V. Club

    AZD marks a triumphant return for Actress
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  2. 8.4 |   Resident Advisor

    Most of its tracks could've been snuck onto one of Cunningham’s past albums. But it sounds like the producer has found inspiration again
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  3. 8.2 |   Gig Soup

    Nothing short of supremely unique, with the eerie radiance that the album gives off, allowing for the listener to become completely lost in Cunningham’s own world
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  4. 8.0 |   Q

    He'll never be an easy listen, but for now Actress has found a happier role. Print edition only

  5. 8.0 |   The Music

    Yet another 100% future-proof record
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  6. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    It takes listeners through a dystopian dance-floor dream universe, with the shiny but comforting hand from its cover as our guide
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  7. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    Where Ghettoville perhaps saw Cunningham stretch his stimuli to near breaking point, travelling too far down an ever gloomy, disengaging path, AZD arrives like a jolt of energy, welcoming some much needed colour into his oeuvre, despite what the record’s somewhat oblique central theme might have you believe
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  8. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    The fifth album from one of electronic music’s most admired producers comes with a lot of high-concept baggage, but the music speaks for itself
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  9. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    If you put in the effort this is one of the most rewarding albums of the year so far, but like pronouncing its title, don’t be surprised if you don’t get it first time
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  10. 8.0 |   The FT

    The London rapper employs hissing digital static and a simple scalar electronic pattern against hazy drones
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  11. 7.9 |   Pitchfork

    Reaches deep into both Darren Cunningham’s clubbiest and most avant-garde impulses, exploring language and Afrofuturism while maintaining a musicality that holds the listener close
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  12. 7.5 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    If house music is the digital rhythm of steel structures filling a skyline, Actress is the sound of those same buildings after centuries of abandonment, smoking filling the horizon and the dread of being alone
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  13. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Cunningham adds yet another impressive release to an impressive inquiry in the politics and philosophy that are implicit in music
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  14. 7.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    Made of chrome, it shimmers, reflects, and amplifies. But at times, it distorts its figure refracting the light, sabotaging its own form
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  15. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    AZD is best when Cunningham provides the contours and shading necessary to make his tracks feel like more than indefinite conceptual loops, when the details of his worlds become tangible and clear
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  16. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    To these ears, much of ‘AZD’ seems to be building up to its final third, and, for the most part, that’s no criticism – it just sounds like Actress isn’t quite finished with this phase yet
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  17. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Electronic maverick gets playfully deep
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  18. 6.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    AZD steps away from the dancefloor, similar to the ambient constructions of R.I.P., and it isn’t until the album’s final third that we truly see the significance in this
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  19. 5.8 |   Earbuddy

    Is it hinting at a future where we’re helpless to the screams of a computer? More importantly; is this dance music? Only your heart can answer that question
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Actress: AZD

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