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.
Additionally, Actress was just announced as the official support for James Blake’s upcoming UK/EU tour, which includes Alexandra Palace in London (on 28th Sept), L’Olympia in Paris, Fabrique in Milan, UFO Im Velodrom in Berlin, and Forest National Club in Brussels, and is playing alongside Autechre in Australia across selected dates later this year.
‘LXXXVIII’ will be released 3rd November on Ninja Tune, with new single “Game Over ( e 1 )” out now. The deluxe album will include a bonus offering of ’88’, the first time it will receive a physical release.
1. Push Power ( a 1 )
2. Hit That Spdiff ( b 8 )
3. Azd Rain ( g 1 )
4. Memory Haze ( c 1 )
5. Game Over ( e 1 )
6. Typewriter World ( c 8 )
7. Its me ( g 8 )
8. Chill ( h 2 )
9. Green Blue Amnesia Magic Haze ( d 7 )
10. Oway ( f 7 )
11. M2 ( f 8 )
12. Azifiziks ( d 8 )
13. Pluto ( a 2 )
Actress Live Dates
Sat 16 Sept — DJ @ Berlin Atonal 2023 — Berlin, DE
Mon 18 Sept — DJ @ Fabrique — Milan, IT (*)
Weds 20 Sept — DJ @ L’Olympia — Paris, FR (*)
Thurs 21 Sept — DJ @ Forest National Club — Brussels, BR (*)
Fri 22 Sept — DJ @ L’Olympia — Paris, FR (*)
Sun 24 Sept — DJ @ UFO Im Velodrom — Berlin, DE (*)
Tues 26 Sept — DJ @ 013 — Tilburg, NL (*)
Thurs 28 Sept — DJ @ Alexandra Palace — London, UK (*)
Mon 09 Oct — DJ @ CircoLoco Ibiza (Closing Party), DC10 — Ibiza, ES
*James Blake support
Stay tuned at Futuristic Tracks of the Week selection and Listen to Actress’s new music first