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07-17 Actress returns with surprise
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Actress

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 h ...read more

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. « hide

Similar Bands: Andy Stott, T++, FaltyDL, Shed, Zomby

LPs
Ghettoville
2014

3.4
90 Votes
R.I.P
04/20/2012

3.5
95 Votes
Splazsh
2010

3.8
81 Votes
Hazyville
2008

3.8
50 Votes
EPs
Xoul
2014

3.5
7 Votes
Grey Over Blue
12/16/2013

3.8
8 Votes
Silver Cloud
01/28/2013

3.2
16 Votes
Rainy Dub
2011

2.8
12 Votes
Harrier ATTK/Gershwin
2011

3.6
9 Votes
Machine And Voice
2010

3.8
8 Votes
Paint, Straw And Bubbles
2010

3.9
8 Votes
Point And Gaze
2009

2.5
2 Votes
Ghosts Have A Heaven
2009

3.4
5 Votes
Swarm/Hubble
2009

3.9
3 Votes
No Tricks
2004

4.2
5 Votes
Compilations
FACT Mix 63
2009

3.3
1 Votes

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