- Moiré patterns are an unwanted artifact of digital imaging techniques caused by the superimposition of ill-fitting or misaligned grids. As an artist name—particularly for an artist on Actress' Werkdiscs label—it's rich with implications, calling to mind dense multi-layering, de-quantization and a veneration of the glitch. Let's not get too carried away though: compared to Actress' recent Silver Cloud EP, Moiré's debut is a surprisingly straightforward affair.
Still, this isn't quite a club-friendly EP. As the title would suggest, Never Sleep is apparently the product of a chronic lack of shuteye: an insomniac's love letter to UK club music that thrives on subtle rhythmic instability and unconventional structuring. "Lose It," in collaboration with Lessons and singer Heidi Vogel, is punchy from the off, its squat bassline sparring with a gnarled kick in fine techno fashion. But Vogel's spoken refrain is cold and tremulous, while layers of twitchy hi-end seem designed to unsettle. Ode to a dance floor epiphany it may be, but friendly it ain't.
Elsewhere, "Into"'s icy bassline could have been borrowed from the Midlands' jackin' scene, but it's slathered with sun-bleached atmospherics until dance floor aggression is only a distant memory. "Drugs," meanwhile, lives up to its name, the unsteady fluctuation between menace and jittery euphoria is like being in the thick of the club on sub-par substances, grappling with a mounting sense of alienation. It's all pleasing enough, but Actress' remix of "Lose It" shows how much more can be done with less. We're all familiar with the formula—cryptic, mirage-like loop-techno that rolls on into infinity—but that doesn't make it any less beguiling.
A1 Lose It feat. Heidi Vogel
B Lose It (Actress Remix)