Darren Cunningham has a way with words. The exquisitely titled “Falling Rizlas” appeared on AZD, Cunningham’s latest album under his shapeshifting Actress alias. It’s one of the electronic producer’s prettiest tracks, but there’s an enigmatic quality to it too, a sense of something else going on beneath the sound.
Its new video is similarly elusive, coming directed by Dean Blunt. Blunt has gained a reputation as one of underground music’s most visionary artists, first with his work with Inga Copeland in the experimental duo Hype Williams and later for the incredible albums he released both solo and as part of Babyfather. But he’s also – rightly or wrongly – gained a reputation as a prankster, for creating deliberately inscrutable music and art and for feeding interviewers with outrageous lies.
Blunt’s video for “Falling Rizlas” is an abstract narrative told over a series of strange images: police tape, a crime scene, a man in a forensic boiler suit, and a discarded leather motorbike jacket (which has previously been a feature of his gallery shows) all make an appearance. The camera focuses intently on each object, imbuing them with symbolic meaning that’s never revealed. Or maybe it means nothing at all.
As well as releasing the video, Ninja Tune have also shared a new podcast with Actress that sees the musician sit down with his A&R Dean Bryce for a deep, hour-long discussion. Cunningham talks about everything from Solange to gender politics in electronic music, as well as the time he went missing in the Congo for a day.