Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So this is out today:

 

https://actress.bandcamp.com/album/lageos

 

 

''Following the release of the ’Audio Track 5’ EP and live performances at the Strelka Institute (Moscow), Barbican Centre and Tate Tanks (London), electronic producer and musician Darren Cunningham AKA Actress and the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) are to release a full album of their collaboration on Ninja Tune entitled ‘LAGEOS’. 

Originally performed at the Barbican in February 2016, the project was curated by Boiler Room and LCO with support from Arts Council England and Ninja Tune. The music created a synergy between both live electronic and acoustic components, not just in the harmonies but in the way the traditional instruments were spliced into new hybrid instruments. As part of the process, Actress and LCO augmented traditional piano and created sounds from objects as varied as temple bowls and plastic bags. The show, a massive sell-out success, eventually lead to the release of this much anticipated album. 

For the album, LCO recorded the individual instrumental parts as stems at Spitfire Studio then sent to Actress to manipulate, in turn delivering some truly unique new pieces. LCO also went on to reinterpret Actress classics ‘Hubble' and ’N.E.W' among others from his catalogue. 

“In many ways the collaboration is about exploring an ambiguity of sound that sits between electronic and acoustic spaces; something that we’re aiming to push further as part of the live shows,” says the LCO’s Hugh Brunt of the collaboration. “For much of the set we look to realise as close as possible the timbres and colours of Actress’ electronics through acoustic means (which he in turn responds to); something of a physicalisation of those synthesised or sampled sounds. That has involved utilising various accessories: plastic bags (for white noise or to emulate an EQ’d hi-hat); keys; Blu-Tack (to dampen the piano’s upper strings); milk frothers on harp strings, etc." 

The project’s genesis was very much inspired by as well as performed at the mecca of brutalism – the Barbican Centre. Iannis Xenakis, a Greek composer and architect who would create buildings to fit his scores, and scores to fit his buildings was an inspiration, Actress and LCO took architectural layouts of the Barbican and created sounds directly inspired by its shapes. 

Speaking to DAZED, Actress said “In terms of the actual architecture, what I wanted to do was basically use the interior and exterior of the Barbican and the surrounding area and pick out all the shapes. So I try and integrate the shapes into the arrangement and then take that apart, like how certain filter envelopes on the drum machine react. I’ve always wanted to experiment on that level, like Iannis Xenakis. He's a proper don. For me the environment is important and the landscapes are important, so it seems wrong not to use these really cool shapes and feature that in the music.” 

Over a decade of releases Actress has built a reputation as a fine creator of cerebral abstract techno or R&B concrète; crafting pulsing kickdrums, jittering percussion and chopped sample loops into churning, rumbling tracks soaked in static. His most recent studio album was 2017’s ‘AZD’, a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world. He has been on record saying he wants to make ‘classical stuff for a modern generation’, his first instrument as a child was the clarinet after all. One of the most prominent and singular voices in electronic music, in addition to his recorded work, Actress has been photographed by Wolfgang Tillmans, and the late celebrated photographer Lord Snowden. Other collaborative projects include White Cube artist Eddie Peake, Mehdi Lacoste, Dan Emmerson and Belgian visual artist Pierre Debusschere, as well as fronting campaigns for fashion brands Acne and Cav Empt. 

London Contemporary Orchestra is a leading, global, orchestral group focused on playing, commissioning and developing new music and artistic output. Alongside working with well-known artists, LCO focus on developing a diverse next generation of players, conductors and composers by creating opportunities for them to work at the highest professional level. Formed in 2008 by co-artistic Directors Robert Ames and Hugh Brunt, the LCO has collaborated with a wide array of musicians, artists, creative figures, platforms and venues such as: Radiohead, Frank Ocean, Jonny Greenwood, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Thom Yorke, Mica Levi, Actress, Beck, William Basinski, Secret Cinema, Vivienne Westwood, NTS, Boiler Room, DAZED, Resident Advisor, Meltdown Festival, The Barbican, Southbank Centre, The Roundhouse, Printworks, Tate Modern, BBC Proms etc. 

Actress and the London Contemporary Orchestra will be returning to where it all started at the Barbican Centre on the 26th May 2018 to perform and curate a programme of additional performances. To open proceedings multi-disciplinary artist Duval Timothy will deliver a set of jazz-inspired minimalism on piano. Lo-fi electronic performer and audio engineer Silvia Kastel then brings the first half of the evening to a close. Kastel’s set will playfully test the borders between sound art, noise and dance music. Following the concert in the Hall, Swedish producer Toxe will debut her live show on the Barbican’s Clubstage. Her late-night set of glitch-peppered techno will provide ample proof of her status as ‘one-to-watch’.
 ''

 

 

I personally bought the Audio Track 5 EP (https://www.discogs.com/Actress-x-LCO-Audio-Track-5/release/10796807) released prior to this that I didn't really enjoy so much although the B side is amazing.

 

Listening now and thoroughly enjoying it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting experiment but imo actress and classical instruments combined just doesn't work together at all expect of 2-3 tracks. It sounds like a bad mash up for me.

would like to hear some of the tracks in its original form like the track chasing numbers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't think I totally agree, sounds lush to me in quite a few places.

 

I agree it's perhaps not the most complementary of formats though - it does sound oddly dissonant in places but then equally I enjoy that too, it's adding a new dimension to his sound palate. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By thumbass
      https://bicep.bandcamp.com/album/isles
      Belfast-born, London-based duo Bicep (Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson) release their hotly anticipated second album, “Isles”, on 22 January 2021 via Ninja Tune.

      Two years in the making, “Isles” expands on the artful energy of their 2018 debut “Bicep”, while digging deeper into the sounds, experiences and emotions that have influenced their lives and work, from early days in Belfast to their move to London a decade ago. “We have strong mixed emotions, connected to growing up on an island” they say, “wanting to leave, wanting to return”. “Isles” is, in part, a meditation on these contradictions, the struggle between the expansive and the introspective, isolation and euphoria.

      The breadth of music they’ve been exposed to in London during this time informs “Isles’” massive sonic palette; both cite the joy of discovering Hindi vocals overheard from distant rooftops, snatches of Bulgarian choirs drifting from passing cars, hitting Shazam in a kebab house in the vain hopes of identifying a Turkish pop song. But time away from home has also made the pair more reflective about the move between islands which led them here.

      For two natives of Belfast, any talk of islands, communities and identities will also have other, more domestic connotations. Before this project, it was an aspect of their lives they’d been reluctant to talk about.

      “It’s always been an unquantifiable topic for us” says Matt. “We’re not religious, but we're both from different religious backgrounds. There was always a lot of interest in us talking about that part of things in the early days, but we weren’t interested. We always felt that one of the things we loved about dance music was that freedom it gave you to be released from talking about those things. It provided a middle ground. I think we took for granted how much that meant at that time”.

      “Isles” is, perhaps, a chance to explore this background in ways that don’t conform to the stale, sensationalist narratives about Northern Ireland that predominate elsewhere; to ground those experiences in reality, and reflect on the gaps music can and can’t bridge.

      “You’d enter the club and it would be people from both sides of the tracks and they’d be hugging” says Andy, referring to massively influential Belfast club Shine, where both cut their musical teeth. “And the following week, they’d be with their mates rioting. It felt like the safest place but, on paper, it should have been the most dangerous”.

      Musically, too, they find echoes of those days in their work. “It was like being smacked in the head with a hammer” Matt says, of the tunes that defined that scene, and which find expression in “Isles’” most raw and energetic corners. “It was either very intense, in-your-face Italo tinged electro or really aggressive techno”.

      ‘Atlas’, the first track drawn from the record, speaks to these roots. Released to massive acclaim in March, making both the Radio 1 and Radio 6 playlists, its euphoric energy and bittersweet heft hit all the harder in uncertain times. It is, as Resident Advisor called it, “music that commiserates with you while you try to dance out your anxieties”.

      Lead single ‘Apricots’ has a similar feel, steeped in a shimmering bath of warm synths, its spare percussion and arresting vocals bring the big room chills of 90s rave, while still evoking something lost or forlorn. It’s a tone perfectly captured in ‘Apricots’ soulful and disorienting video by Mark Jenkin, fresh from winning 2020’s Bafta for Outstanding Debut by a British Director for his film ‘Bait’, or the album’s striking, explosive artwork by Studio Degrau, creators of the iconic imagery for the duo’s first album.

      “The previous record was written from a very happy and almost naïve place” says Andy. “On your first album, you can finally express what you can’t on an A-side or an EP. But, touring it for three years, you figure out what makes a good song; what gives it longevity”.

      Drawing on this experience, the pair wanted “Isles” to be a “a snapshot in time” of their work in this period, rather than a start-to-finish concept album. To do this, they drew from a massive pool of 150 demos. Whittling the record down to ten tracks was their first major challenge.

      “That’s the creative element in the beginning” Matt says. “The blue sky approach; stitching stuff together and jamming over the top. But then you get to the next phase where you tell a story with what you’ve got, get them to communicate what we feel when we listen to them. We’d spend a week working on a track and find a breakthrough moment where it would work in so many iterations. It comes alive as a piece”.

      “On an album, you want loads of detail for people listening at home” adds Andy. These details are everywhere on “Isles”. ‘Saku’s two step polyrhythms and Clara La San’s honey-sweet vocals feint toward UK Garage before diving, chest-first, into cosmic synths. Like 90’s RnB channelled through peak John Carpenter, it’s a track that demands, and rewards, multiple listens, suffused with the melancholic undercurrent that gives “Isles” its cathartic punch. ‘Cazenove’, another standout, pairs pitch-shifted choral elements with moody pizzicato strings and rave synths, combining to form a slowly building retro-futurist soundscape, Studio Ghibli one moment, Studio 54 the next.

      This globe-trotting sound was forged as their own rapid ascent through the musical ranks began. After starting their legendary FeelMyBicep blog in 2008, its humble trove of Italo, house and disco deep cuts grew into a runaway success, regularly chalking up over 100,000 visitors a month. Once the blog had spawned a record label and club night, the duo were propelled on to the international stage via sought-after DJ sets that reflected the eclecticism of their online curations. Following success with productions for Throne of Blood and Aus Music, Bicep were signed to Ninja Tune in 2017, where they released their wildly acclaimed self-titled debut album the following year, attaining a Top 20 entry in the UK charts, and a cover feature in Mixmag to add to the magazine’s gong for “Album of the Year”. Tracks like ‘Opal’ — and the subsequent Four Tet remix— as well as he record’s lead single ‘Glue’, with and its iconic Joe Wilson-directed video, became touchpoints for electronic music in 2017, with the latter named DJ Mag “Track of the Year”. The ‘Glue’ video, alongside Bicep’s RA Live performance were also recently included in the lauded ‘Electronic’ exhibition, first shown at the Philharmonie de Paris last year and most recently at London’s Design Museum.

      The album was followed by a massively successful tour, which saw them raise the roof at Primavera, Coachella and Glastonbury. The pair sold out their two forthcoming Brixton Academy shows in a matter of minutes, and amassed a 10,000 person waiting list once tickets were all gone.

      Plans for an extensive “Isles” tour in 2021 are still in the offing, with the duo offering only cryptic clues as to what it will entail.

“This is the home listening version”, says Matt, “the live version will be much, much harder”.

      Bicep’s booked events will now take place as and when venue schedules become more clear, with additional headline dates across the UK, EU and US hoped for in 2021, including a headline slot at Field Day in London, as well as performances at Parklife, Roskilde, Creamfields, Primavera, MELT! And more.
      With the live music & touring industry in a state of flux, Bicep recently undertook a one-off ticketed livestream performance—one of the first of its kind for an electronic artist—broadcast across 5 different timezones, and watched by people in over 70 countries, with visuals by close BICEP LIVE visual collaborator Black Box Echo. Bicep will also launch their ‘FeelMyBicep Radio’ show on Apple Music in October, giving listeners an insight into the music that has shaped everything in the world of Bicep, with shows set to continue monthly throughout the coming year.

      Bicep are also ambassadors for Youth Music, a charity working to change the lives of young people through music and music production. Both take an active role in mentoring young people coming through YM programmes, reflecting their own eagerness to give back as musicians who themselves received industry support when they were coming up.
       
       
    • By thumbass
      Out October 9th on Ninja Tune
      Pre-order: https://machinedrum.bandcamp.com/album/a-view-of-u
    • By auxien
      according to his Instagram he's got a new one in the pipeline. seems to be called Karma & Desire, if he's posting about it i'm assuming it's all legit so here we are.
      he looks upset about it tho. angsty Actress album ahead
    • By Hugh Mughnus
      Apparently there is a new Amon Tobin album in the works!
       
      As per his webpage "Album recording in progress so no tours scheduled. Watch this space for one off appearances but don't hold your breath"
      To stay in the loop Sign up for the mailing list"
       
      PS does this qualify for a thread under new and upcoming releases or does there need to be an official announcement?
       
       
      reed teh rules I know
       
       
      I'm interested to see what he does after Isam, as that was a pretty big departure from his signature sound at least in my opinion.
    • By thumbass
      New Floating Points LP. Out Oct 18.
      Pre order at bleep:
      https://bleep.com/release/140555-floating-points-crush
      Single:
       
      Shepherd focuses on beats here, with his most dance sounding tunes to date
×
×
  • Create New...