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Ghettoville [VINYL] Box set

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Amazon's Actress Store


Image of album by Actress


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Actress, aka Darren J. Cunningham, has in the last 5 years of running the Werkdiscs label set himself apart as one of the hottest A&R scouts within his field, having discovered and released some of the most widely talked about artists of the emerging bass generation, namely Disrupt, Zomby, Lukid and Starkey.
As Actress he produced the exceptional “Hazyville LP” drawing cries ... Read more in Amazon's Actress Store

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Product details

  • Vinyl (27 Jan. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Ninja Tune
  • ASIN: B00GH10AKG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 240,712 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Box Includes *"Black Elephant"-skinned Boxset, inc. Ghettoville (3LP + CD), Hazyville (White Vinyl 2LP + CD - exclusive to boxset), and a 40-page Artbook*

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By dipesh parmar on 2 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Actress (aka Darren Cunningham) has raised the bar with each release of his own brand of progressive Techno, with his third album ‘R.I.P.’ being my personal favourite.

Actress’s fourth album ‘Ghettoville’ is meant to be the sequel to his 2008 debut album ‘Hazyville’, and apparently the last record Cunningham will produce under his Actress alias. As soon as the opening ‘Forgiven’ emerges, you realise that although Actress’s signature sound is present that this is a deliberately different album to his last three. And i’d never thought i’d say it of an Actress release, but this is a terrible album.

Since i’ve been a fan of his music from his first release, i’ve listened to ‘Ghettoville’ dozens of times because i’m still stunned by such an insipidly dull release. The majority of the album is slow, dreadfully uninspiring, and lacking virtually any imagination. This album should have been called ‘R.I.P.’ because Actress has literally ripped the heart and soul from his music, leaving us with just a corpse. I have nothing against his source of inspiration, but there is nothing musically challenging in ‘Ghettoville’. The majority of tracks are too long and repetitive, polarising the listener with an indifferent and unemotional purpose to the music. Most tracks are painfully slow, but even the pacier tracks like ‘Gaze’, ‘Skyline’ and ‘Rule’ have a lack of inspiration that just baffles me.

Whatever Cunningham’s intentions were hasn’t worked. ‘Ghettoville’ feels like a suicide note, such is the defeatism that pervades this album. I’m still stunned that Actress created an album as bad as this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Paton on 27 Jan. 2014
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
only recently became aware of actress,ghettoville is a great piece of music.dark deep unexpected uneasy
from start to finish it,s a journey you will have to take several times to really appreciate this.the reviews and
stories regarding this final actress album may be true but just enjoy with no preconceptions the talent and
music on this record.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Luke on 27 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Before I tackle the music I've got to mention the title: 'Ghettoville'. I suppose it is designed to conjure certain mental images, like 'Vapor City' or 'Galaxy Garden' but it just sounds like the kind of thing I'd imagine a school kid writing over a sketch he did in art class after playing GTA for weeks on end. But that's just an aside.

Alright, the music. Well, that's what it is: alright. It's okay. It's decent. Overall, fairly unmemorable but it has some good moments. The first half or so reminds me of the massively disappointing 'Spit' by Ron Morelli. Not dancefloor enough to be L.I.E.S brand of lo-fi techno, somewhat like a less noisy 'Colonial Patterns'. Much of the Detroit influence that made 'Splazsh' interesting seems to be lost here, replaced by a more hypnagogic vibe. Thankfully some more variety comes into play in the latter half of the album.

Listening to the 30-second samples I thought this might be a proper quality LP, and pre-release track 'Rap' showed good promise with it's vaporwave-style R&B slow jam stylings, and indeed this is one of the better tracks on the album. 'Gaze' is another standout, with some Floorplan style housy synths, as well as 'Image' with it's fat mosquito synth trills and on point snares. I think these work because they are less 'abstract' or 'ambient' and more akin to actual dance music. However, while there are these refreshing allusions to vaporwave, hip hop, house, even synth-funk, the bulk of the nearly 70 minutes running time is quite subdued, drudgery through hazy, hiss-soaked, vaguely outlined beats. Maybe if the highlights were edited into the standard 40-50 album running time, this would sound less aimless and some of the tunes less like vague sketches rather than complete tracks, or maybe not.
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By Mr D J H on 3 Mar. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another excellent album from Actress. Definitely took me a few listens to fully appreciate, as most good music seems to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Desperately Serious Conclusion 31 Jan. 2014
By Human_Patch_Office - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Loathe the fact this could be Actress last album, at least, under the alias, and risk wasting precious emotions when in fact, every ounce of emotional acumen should be spent on this immensely pleasurable and perhaps final album, the fourth (or fifth?) album by Darren J. Cunningham (known as Actress); Ghettoville.

Understood as a musical sequel to a release in 2008 puts the album in perspective, and in puts the proverbial final act(?) two albums behind the opening credits, Hazyville. There are echos between the two cities, if you will, a musical Portland and Seattle, yet Ghettoville is a masterclass flaunting how much Darren has grown since his first full length album.

And then it opens, with not a second of the first track spent in ambiguity. At the sound of the first cue (light static or distant wind) you know exactly what you're getting into. Weather-beaten drums beneath birds and planes buzzing above usher the listener in to this album quite comfortably. 'Forgiven' is perfectly reserved. 'Street Corp.' rouses from stillness with clearly defined blips and craggy euphonys, and here is where I was quite surprised with the first half of the album: its boldness with a measure of odd restraint. There is an eerie tenderness a few of the opening songs carry, though Corner (a steady urban grind) does some to persuade otherwise, but its charm is inescapable, even to itself. Enduring through to the fifth track reveals an influence some of the residents (play along with me) may have had on Actress, as in, this one almost sounds like a nod to the likes of Chuck Person and its Eccojams, yet feels so kith to Ghettoville that this album must'v always been that sounds home. That Actress has raptured so many influences unto himself is in my opinion the mark of real hard working talent, and more of that is showcased with the skillfully orchestrated 'Birdcage' (an old Nike comerical or south american Bboy), 'Our'; and between 'Time' and 'Towers' the two seem like twin interludes giving way to a serious and a fairly clear shift in sound between the first 7 tracks and the last, 7.

If 'Forgiven' serves to prepare you for the day, 'Gaze' is the afterhours equivelant, and too where the album sounds akin to that 2008 release. The sounds go from serious head-nodding conjuring images of chic 90's multi-coloured black dudes, 8-bit cars accelerating into a pixelated starry night coupled with a golden-age R&B singer pleading what must be going on in the hearts of all us Actress fans (indeed, don't stop) to what feels like the end coming in the form of worn out soul music tapes, one more trip to the club when clearly its time to go, and finally (really?) the albums (and artists?) last track, 'Rule'. And very fitting, both in name and in body of work. 'Rule', does just that, only audibly with sly chopped-but-still-recognizable hip-hop, ending suddenly.

This album, to summarize, is profoundly cool -- italics on profoundly, cool. I think there is no better description than that. In a way that few if any albums have ever achieved. This is crown of so many EP's and albums, and thank you so much for the music, Mr. Cunningham. I will rest comfortably knowing the best have had seasons of different surnames (Audion, anyone?). And with that may this end be the beginning of the next chapter in the musical career of the man in question. Actress is, with this album and in my very humble opinion, one of the best artists in the last 20 years, and at least one of the best producers of our time. A real, true talent.

Standing ovation and five stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Headphone Commute Review 13 April 2014
By Headphone Commute - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Darren Cunningham‘s latest (or is it really last?) offering as Actress is a dense, hazy, and nearly hallucinogenic stroll through the foggy streets of South London, and indeed Cunningham’s abstract interpretation of his mind, titled Ghettoville. Two years ago, Actress released his third full length, R.I.P, putting this character to rest, and now that the image is deceased, how does it feel to be within the cold and dark walls of the void? Perhaps the answer lies in Ghettoville, which, after being properly released by Cunningham’s own Werkdiscs label, gets picked up by Ninja Tune, since its interest piqued in this particular sound with a three-track Silver Cloud EP in 2012.

The album takes a long time to reveal itself, to sort-of grow on you, like a stubborn weed, choking out the impatient and inept. My first impression of the music was fairly neutral, at times even dipping into the negative scale of appreciation. What exactly is this? What is Cunningham trying to say? The rhythm is gravely beyond any lo-fi aesthetic, hardly resounding through the mono channel of a damaged speaker, at times repeating to no end with a single, seemingly simple beat, sixteen, thirty-two, and sixty-four bars at a time. Did Cunningham just fall asleep behind his drum-machine, or am I just too sober to drop out? Thick layers of hiss, slowed-down hip-hop samples, mired shuffles, dingy atmospheres pulled back into the corners of the stage, as if it’s all coming from within a can, dipped into an aquarium replete with grime.

Things finally begin to make sense when I give up on trying to decipher the sound—and let the clouds overtake the skies. Darkness sets in, and with the stormy winter weather (you know, the one where you almost wished it already snowed, instead of a sideways freezing rain pummeling your frigid clothes), the sounds of Ghettoville cut through the chilly bones. This isn’t really a brisk stroll through a sunny countryside, but rather a nightly crawl through dank streets where moss consumes decaying cigarettes among the cobblestones and tombs. And as the mind attempts to cling to a particular pattern, deciphering the hidden associations with remnants of London’s dance music, the melodies trail off, stumbling over their unquantised progression, diving below the murky slabs of sediment and debris, barely capable to gasp for air and its sustained life-force.

Taking off my headphones after this journey feels like I’m peeling off a space suit, and the world gets sucked back into existence with a loud thump, in all its surround-sound glory and always perfect audiophile quality. Some uneasiness still lurks in the background of my mind. Will I take the plunge again? Perhaps. Most likely I will find myself revisiting the streets of Ghettoville on cold and sombre days, to match my inner state of void with Cunningham’s abstruse and complex music. Meanwhile, even if the rumours of putting the Actress project to bed are true, you can keep your ears open for Cunningham’s few side projects. There is also a limited 5LP + 2CD “Black Elephant”-skinned boxset (plus a 40-page artbook) compiling the Hazyville and Ghettovillealbums out on Wekdiscs and Ninja Tune.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
best EDM since Aphex Twin ends 8 Feb. 2014
By SFNico - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Actress,Danning Cunningham,has released albums and eps's for about 5-8 years.
Thom Yorke is a fan.
it's so sad that Ghettoville might be his last album as Actress.
the music he's creating is artistic without losing the human touch.
this is his last (2014)and best album.
it's very atmospheric,like a movie soundtrack to a movie you'd love but that makes you
queasy at the same Taxi Driver.

I'm not that into the current dance scene,I don't even think Burial is all that.
Disclosure isn't as good as Daft Punks Homework.IMO.

but Actress delivers the real good thing that moves you.
I don't know if i can recommend this for normal people.
it's pretty out there.
if u like rock mostly this might be hard to listen to.

but I personally love all his music and hope he has a future.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Instant classic 9 Mar. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
The line between Throbbing Gristle, the club and the gutter. A disgusting, downtrodden, filthy masterpiece. Deserves more accliam than it's been getting.
Actress is god 3 July 2014
By Daniel Darrow - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Actress new cd is a dark cd. It recalls some of triangles darker stuff, haxon cloack holy other, wife,and label mate lukid . This stuff is is a new step in micro techno and briitish style dub techno , minamal house and darn right out throbing grissle. Check out this and all actress cds. Its sad when an artist kinda gets passed over in the us. Rember disco inferno?
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