There’s a code embedded in the tracklist of LXXXVIII, Darren Cunningham’s eighth solo album as Actress. At the end of each title, in parenthesis, sit a letter and a numeral: positions on a chessboard. The centuries-old strategy game makes a good metaphor for the music of the UK producer. His work conveys a similar sense of purposeful calculations churning beneath a stone-faced exterior. The sound of LXXXVIII doesn’t differ much from that of its predecessors; a lo-fi haze continues to hang over his synths and samples, and it sounds as though his drum machines could crumble to dust at any moment. His moods remain as mercurial as ever. Floor-frendly club tracks, like the muscular “Push Power ( a 1 )” or the elegantly minimalist “Pluto ( a 2 ),” alternate with detours into pure atmosphere; ambient cuts can exude reassuring calm or murky paranoia. Tucked within the album’s labyrinthine path are a few genuine surprises, like the cut-up soul of “Its me ( g 8 ),” which doesn’t sound quite like anything he’s done to date. Even Actress’ consistency, it turns out, is a ruse; with LXXXVIII, he makes it clear that he’s still got a few tricks up his sleeve.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada