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Album Review: Actress - Karma & Desire

Actress delivers another outstanding album in his ever evolving discography.


Actress’ discography is prodigious, resplendent and constantly transforming. That streak for constant evolution continues into his new album Karma & Desire that was born out of born of four years of transformation and rebuilding. This is his first album where he sings on an album, but still involves the likes of Vanessa Benelli Mosell, Zsela and Sampha.

The vocals fit effortlessly with the type of compositions that Actress creates on this record. The partnership between Actress and Sampha feels like something they have been working on for years with often murky tracks. “Many Seas, Many Rivers” is a dark and labored piano composition with fuzzy fx like rain falling against a window, while the album closer is similar, but has a bit of light shining through in the final minute.

There are also some excellent instrumentals as well with gentle synth productions like “Gliding Squares” and “XRAY” or shimmering, skittering deep house like “Leaves Against The Sky.”

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That does not mean this album is all just brooding piano or moody synth compositions: there are some sample-led deep house and uptempo club records sprinkled throughout like “Loveless” with Aura T-09 and “Loose” which starts slow and then picks up tempo and energy.

The album feels carefully constructed and well-crafted, built around yet another intriguing chapter in the constantly evolving sonic universe that is Actress. Karma & Desire kicks off another decade for Actress that hopefully will be as fruitful as the last. Pick up a copy of the album in digital and physical formats here, including some sexy vinyl bundles.

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