Actress – Splazsh (2010)

Splazsh wastes no time on the niceties of introductions, depositing you instead directly in the path of “Hubble,” which reveals itself to be cloaked in night, a techno groove dismantled in clouds of static and hum. It feels faded and old, some Victorian-era machine still rattling out messages to the spirit realm. Like a lot of Actress tracks, its true motives seem obscured by smoke, where voices flicker in the depths, but their message is resigned to memory. In some ways it’s a strange, unforgiving track to open with, this decaying mechanism that slowly overwrites itself until it settles into uneasy silence, but it works as an airlock of sorts, to transition you from one world to the next. “Lost” takes a fractured loop of disintegrating synthesizer and slowly lets another song seep into it, as if it’s bleeding through from some oneiric realm. It’s a common aesthetic theme that runs through the album, this corrupted techno picking up transmissions from other places, melodies being tuned in on some occult radio. It feels like you can zoom in forever on fine-grained sonic details – like when the vocal samples get stretched into some grey, rainy haze before the beat comes in, mechanical limbs perforating the track with holes that blister with noise. onethirtybpm

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