Actress pushes all the right buttons - literally - Rhythm, Tone, er...how are buttons labelled on whatever he uses? Remember when kids used to stare into the windows of shops selling guitars and dream of being in a rock 'n' roll band, like David Essex in That'll Be The Day ? Of course you don't, you're not that old. Actress didn't particular want to produce music until he saw footage of Shy FX talking about his mad different methods of mixing. That set him off. Modern producers have mechanical dreams the way young 'uns of old worshipped the stringed machine - but they drool over a different kind of kit, a purely push-button & twist dial one, which is hard to play dexterously the way Jimi did the guitar, but Lee Perry gave it a good go.
Actress doesn't go in for fussy, complicated noodling, being far more interested in texture, tone and loops, with handmade imprints smeared everywhere, which is no mean feat in the man vs machine situation. There's nothing startlingly original, but you know by now that that concept is dead, don't you? So R.I.P. 'originality'. 'Jardin' is pleasing the way The Caretaker is, or Satie, even - simplicity, restraint, and a loop that hooks. 'Serpent' is reminiscent of classic UR, fusion-style. 'Tree Of Knowledge' is glitchy, woozy, and wonderfully disorientating. If, as on 'N.E.W.', he veers dangerously close to imitating Eno, that's OK by me. The feel of this album, not the nut and bolts, is everything, and as diverse (within limits) as it is, it has an overall flavour which tastes good to these ears.