There are people who thought Actress otherwise known as Darren Cunningham had retired. They were a bit premature. He’s ready instead to return with a new album and alter ego, both of them AZD released on Ninja Tune. AZD (pronounced Azid) is a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world. An artist who has always preferred to make music than to talk about it, in AZD he has achieved another remarkable landmark, one which is as resistant to interpretation as it is demanding of it. X22RME is a key note example of the influence the Black artists James Hampton and Rammellzee had on the creation of the album – a man who created art through “Sourcing castaway materials from their environment and reinterpreting them into absolute majesty given from the fourth dimension.” The simplest you could say about AZD is that it’s art – the unique creation of a unique mind. There will be few more distinctive, brilliant or visionary suites of music released in 2017. Call him what you will, this is the year that Darren ‘Daz’ Cunningham - aka Actress, aka AZD – asserts more clearly than ever before his complete independence.