By Carlos Lima-Lopez
The enigmatic Actress always seems to have this very distinct approach to electronic music. I am just now getting into his music and slowly becoming a fan, but I can definitely get a feel for his style. As far I know, sometimes he’ll have the floors packed and other times it’s very grainy and introspective. This is that time where it’s slightly grainy but the album’s priority is to do two things; make you sweat and make you dance.
Actress’s music often reminds of Aphex Twin; it’s somber but it will still make you groove. There are definitely some hints that their respective music is reserved for headphones, but when it does have a place for speakers, it’s more private. What I mean by private is not in the club 40/40 or Bowery Ballroom sense. No, we’re talking much smaller.
I mean like a basement smaller. Literally, it’s that sort of intimacy that makes Actress’s music belong in that type of environment.
The album is going to be hard to digest for anyone who is not into electronica, and maybe even those who like their electronica a little more upbeat. Still,“Ghettoville” is an event to behold. It’s all atmosphere; tracks like “Time” and “Towers” remind me of gray smoke filling up the party. Then it’s moving with songs like “Corner” which is a slow but banging beat, filled with minimal bass, drums and keys. There’s also the repetitive “Rims” which feels nice and never boring.
Then the party really picks up with “Our”, which reminds me of the aforementioned Aphex Twin and another electronic wizard, Four Tet. It gets heavier with the house influenced “Gaze” and “Skyline”. The closer, “Rule”, reminds me of something Kanye West would make. If anyone is familiar with “Bound 2”, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Take from it what you will, but “Ghettoville” is something. It has a hazy quality but it’s indeed fun and a brand new adventure. Pretty soon, you’ll have your own private basement parties inspired by Actress.