There are at least four artists known as Actress. 1) Actress is the artist alias of London's Darren Cunningham. If you're looking for clues to his music, you're better off starting with "Hazyville", the title of his debut album. The record presents a landscape as blurry as its title, with house and hiphop beats dissolving into a spray of bits and tape hiss. ...show more
There are at least four artists known as Actress. 1) Actress is the artist alias of London's Darren Cunningham. If you're looking for clues to his music, you're better off starting with "Hazyville", the title of his debut album. The record presents a landscape as blurry as its title, with house and hiphop beats dissolving into a spray of bits and tape hiss.
When "Hazyville" came out in 2008, it sounded unlike anything else out there -- you could hear echoes of the familiar (Moodymann, Jan Jelinek, '80s R&B, wonky), but it was spun into an uncanny kind of dreamstate. Cunningham also runs Werk Discs; the label had something of a hit in 2008 with Zomby's "Where Were U in '92?", and its roster runs from the street-bass sounds of Philadelphia's Starkey to the brilliant instrumental hiphop of Lukid and Lone. Much of Actress' music is deliberately lo-fi, suffused with the slippery grit of encoding errors and low-bitrate YouTube videos, to the point that the distortion and compression become strangely beautiful in their own right. It's the modern-day equivalent of boom-bap hiphop's preference for scratchy wax, which makes sense, since today's crate-diggers are increasingly discovering the musical past not through thrift-store vinyl, but dubious VHS dubs uploaded to the web, grainy and flickering with errant pixels.
Actress' music has continued to evolve across singles for Prime Numbers, Nonplus, and Honest Jon's, taking on even greater range and depth, but without losing its own particular character. His second album, "Splazsh", came out on Honest Jon's at the end of May 2010, combining his previously used compression tricks and lo-fi atmosphere's with a more prominent sample collage technique; techno as re-imagined by Kurt Schwitters. His third album, R.I.P (released in April of 2012) saw Actress stepping into a more ambient realm, with the 4/4 kick receding into the background in favour of more abstract analogue textures. The album follows a sort of narrative, providing a soundtrack for death and the afterlife; the reduction of beat-based compositions seems to have arrived with an increase in conceptuality. ...show less
Albums & Singles by Actress
Playlists Containing Tracks by Actress
2013 Halloween Spooktacular
STUFF THOM YORKE LIKES
In New Music We Trust - June 2013
Sick Like Love: Sexy Chill Beats
Pitchfork's Top 50 Rated Albums of 2012
The Best Tracks of February 2013
Jedi Electro Beats
A Different Kind Of Dub, With Ambient Techno
Record Store Day 2012
Pitchfork Top 50 albums of 2012
2012: Best 1000 Tracks
Bleep 100 Tracks / 2012
midnight sun: chill beats
Bleep - Best albums of 2012
Pitchfork Top 50 Albums 2012
Wire Magazine 2012 Best of Year
Mojo Best Albums of 2012
Trap music playlist
TNGHT trap chill mellow house party tunes
The Definitive House & Techno Playlist
Future Garage, Chillstep, Post-Dubstep.
late night tunes
Best of Alternative 2012
'Summer' 2012 Playlist
The Psychedelic Scene
Alternative & Indie June 2012
Thom's Radiohead Chart
Playlists We Love
New Releases USA
Each week we will update this playlist with the latest new releases from the USA
New Releases UK
Each week we will update this playlist with the latest new releases from the UK
Weekly Top 100 Tracks
Every Monday we publish a chart of the Top 100 tracks added to playlists in the previous week
UK TOP 40 CHART
Listen to the top-selling singles in the UK, updated regularly.
USA TOP 40 CHART
Listen to the best-selling singles in the United States, updated regularly.
Indie Feel Good
A hand picked selection of new indie music chosen to put a lift in your step & a smile on your face.
The very latest under-the-radar tracks you need to hear
The World's Most Perfect Pop Songs
The most perfect pop songs from around the world.
This is the perfect playlist to unwind & relax to
Songs To Fall Asleep To
Feeling tired? This playlist is designed to help you unwind and send you to sleep.