HJ’s, based in West London (check the store on Portobello Rd), enjoys a close association with Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus (Basic Channel / Rhythm & Sound), and earlier this year released the debut album by the Moritz Von Owald Trio. It’s perhaps best known for its wide-ranging, exemplary reissue and archive releases, fromj 1920s Iraqi music collection Give Me Love and the celebrated Moondog retrospective to the ongoing, Ernestus-curated Basic Replay series of Jamaican dub singles and comps. Though the label has released plenty of new music by contemporary artists – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Trembling Bells, to name but two recent examples – their newly established patronage of Actress feels particular apposite and exciting.
Details of the album are scarce at this point. It will be Actress’s second long-playing release, and the follow-up to last year’s jaw-dropping, endlessly rewarding exercise in grainy techno claustrophobia, Hazyville. Actress – real name Darren Cunningham – is also proprietor of Werk Discs, home to Lukid and Zomby, and it was on this label that Hazyville was released.
The general public’s first opporunity to hear some of the new Actress material will be at the upcoming Honest Jon’s party, which takes place at Plastic People in London on Thursday 17 December. The South London-based producer joins a bill topped by Rhythm & Sound’s Mark Ernestus, without doubt among the greatest dub and dancehall selectors in Europe, and Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir – one of Cunningham’s heroes and an all-round legend of Detroit techno who only just now seems to be getting the recognition he deserves. Earlier this year saw the re-press of Shake’s recent ‘Elevated Levels’ 12", picked up not only by techno heads but also dubstep and neo-garage types understandably smitten with the EP’s unorthodox but rigorously funky rhythms. It’s going to be quite an experience to hear Shake do his thing on Plastic People’s bully-boy soundsystem, make no mistake,
Tickets for the night are £10 and are available in advance from honestjons.com (book early to avoid disappointment).