Actress - Ghettoville
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2014 Ratings: #246 / 845
User Score
Based on 99 ratings
2014 Ratings: #341
January 27, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Werkdiscs, Ninja Tune / Label
IDM / Genres
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Your Review


Pretty Much Amazing

Ghettoville is as deeply immersive a piece of music as any, a veritable world unto itself, full of dark alleys and hidden nooks, the kind of place you can get lost in and which reveals new details with every listen. 

Drowned in Sound

As varied as the unrelenting bleakness might be, the true coup de grace of Ghettoville is the emotional bite it delivers.

The Line of Best Fit

This isn’t an album about the highs – they’re there, but they aren’t the point. It’s not a fix either. It’s a seventy minute sustained gaze into the dark, uncomfortable at first until the eyes adjust, until the patterns take shape and those shadows start to dance.

FACT Magazine

Ghettoville might chronicle a dark patch for Actress, but once it hits its stride it’s as good, and as full of life, as anything he has produced.


Ghettoville is an album full of endings, a choose-your-own-misadventure story where every beat thuds like a heavy tome slamming shut.


At 16 tracks long ‘Ghettoville’ is demanding and uneasy going, oscillating between the sort of punchy club beats that could give you a hernia and soundscapes so deep and affecting you’d expect to hear them at an art installation.


It challenges, questions and, quite frequently, unnerves. Despite all of this, you can’t quite stop listening. It’s a record that leaves you frozen. 


An easy listen it isn't, but Ghettoville is full of such textural subtlety, rubbed-raw sound design and spatial aural play that it will leave you somewhat discombobulated yet curious for more.


Ghettoville is a lecture, at least inasmuch as a largely beatless, voiceless work can be. Self-contained, Ghettoville refuses to commune with anything but itself, including the broken and disadvantaged world it purports to represent.

The Skinny

Ghettoville is simply a space, a hinterland where textures materialise, mutate and fade, their tessellations or arguments observed and mediated by no one. 

Consequence of Sound

Considering potential downsides, the record stands decently by itself, but in no way akin to the power of the intermediate standalone albums; thus, Hazyville becomes necessary for a fuller appreciation of this release.

Resident Advisor

It's got the vibe of a condemned city block and all the atmosphere of a moldy, fluorescent-lit basement. Given any opportunity to be distracted, you'll happily lose Cunningham's thread within a beat or two. You might forget the record was on until well after it's over.

Best Track: Corner, Contagious, Birdcage, Gaze, or Frontline
Worst Track: Rule
Most Overrated Track: Skyline
Most Underrated Track: Don't
One of the most oppressive albums out there. It has taken me a while to fully warm up to this, but now I feel like the album is a total expansion of the experimental sound Actress has been building for years. Each track is its own cold and damp experiment, taking the sounds of tech house and pushing it to the brink of destruction. The 16 songs all sound like unique soundscapes from another planet, where everything has been destroyed and this album is a deteriorating tape found in the rubble. ... read more
It's bleak, dark and edgy which is how I perceive life to be in the inner city for a number of people. And, even though one critic describe's Cunningham's "Ghettoville" release as 'communing with itself', I frankly find the glitch and squelch mixed with the found sound and dashes of soulful jazziness to be distinct, poignant and rewarding. It's a tough listen only because it's a very cerebral album. Darren Cunningham's music is comparable to Russian literature. It may not be for ... read more
Tom Simmons
Fav Tracks: Gaze, Birdcage, Corner, Towers,

Least Fav Track: Rap
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Track List

  1. Forgiven
  2. Street Corp
  3. Corner
  4. Rims
  5. Contagious
  6. Birdcage
  7. Our
  8. Time
  9. Towers
  10. Gaze
  11. Skyline
  12. Image
  13. Don't
  14. Rap
  15. Frontline
  16. Rule
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Added on: November 5, 2013