Actress, real name Darren Jordan Cunningham, known to friends as DAZ, returns with a new album, now on Ninja Tune and a new music system called AZD (pronounced “Azid”), “a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world.”
Recently the lead single, “X22RME” (pronounced “Extreme”), was unveiled. The song elegantly plays between the lines of Oriental classic rave and Balinese warehouse Techno machined in a Rotherhithe lock up welding the grooves into a seamless cracked joint. Listen to it and watch its amazing video below.
“Following on from his previous albums, R.I.P, Splazsh and Hazyville, an epilogue poem attached to the press release for Ghettoville was construed by media, commentators and spectators that Cunningham had retired. This led him to conceptualize this mass of conclusion as the key to “Giving power back to identity.”
So a few pointers, or possible ways to think about AZD. The album is themed around chrome – both as a reflective surface to see the self in, and as something that carves luminous voids out of any color and fine focuses white and black representing the perfect metaphor for the bleakness of life in the Metropolis as suggested by Anish Kapoors Cloud Gate.
Another way to approach would be through the art of James Hampton and Rammellzee (who inspired “CYN,” which Cunningham also sees as a vision of New York in reverse…) – both of whom, though of different generations of the African-American slave diaspora, created art through “Sourcing castaway materials from their environment and re-interpreting them into absolute majesty given from the fourth dimension.” There is also the career-long influence of the Detroit techno pioneers, something which becomes clear on this album “there is a contrast in the type of glow or reflection”.
Alternatively, you could write your PhD thesis on Jung’s Shadow Theory and AZD: “Lots of ideas come from dreams, this isn’t new, but sometimes the conscious mind starts to meld into the universal consciousness through constellation tunneling.” If that sounds too taxing then you could always fall back on Star Wars and, in particular, the Death Star: “It has a dark dystopian backdrop, with highly sophisticated technology, but it is fading into the ether, still holding on and emitting a powerful energy. The music remaking the embers, binding them together and pulling them apart again.””
2. UNTITLED 7
4. BLUE WINDOW
8. FALLING RIZLAS
9. DANCING IN THE SMOKE
10. FAURE IN CHROME
11. THERE’S AN ANGEL IN THE SHOWER