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Actress

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Biography

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.

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  • tropicalhaze

    "One of the worst live act I've seen" that's a wrong opinion around this shoutbox, mate...

    20 Oct 2:34pm Reply
  • alex333x

    wrap yourself around meeeee

    28 Sep 9:23am Reply
  • module64

    one of the top big dogs

    26 Sep 4:50am Reply
  • Massive_Anus

    xoul is great. what a discography

    18 Sep 10:35pm Reply
  • johnnyboy898

    "Birdcage is a very nice track... some remembers of Oizo in it" woah, i never made the connection before. it really does sound like something oizo might have made

    17 Sep 11:27pm Reply
  • electrobaboon

    There is no Darren... only Xoul. [2]

    10 Sep 5:15pm Reply
  • post-wizardry

    Too hard drugs[2]

    9 Sep 5:59pm Reply
  • Adyry

    One of the worst live act I've seen... Sadly... Too hard drugs, I guess... To your notice : he played completely ambient/noise/lofi/clicks set during Tauron Nowa Muzyka in Katowice, Poland

    2 Sep 11:42pm Reply
  • m-saIami

    Birdcage is a very nice track... some remembers of Oizo in it, more hazy... I think I just had to put aside all the conceptual stuff around Ghettoville to only start to fell it's vibe.

    31 Aug 4:51pm Reply
  • deadairspace

    I want to make blowjob to this guy

    31 Aug 1:41pm Reply
  • optimistic_tour

    There is no Darren... only Xoul.

    28 Aug 2:00pm Reply
  • gabreur

    dubstep? are you retarded?

    27 Aug 9:34pm Reply
  • affasf

    Xoul and Ghettoville in the same year? geez, man, go on holiday.

    23 Aug 7:41pm Reply
  • colinbroccoli

    massive aphex twin influence on xoul and it's brilliant

    22 Aug 7:41pm Reply
  • A13k5G

    Rule is a masterpiece.

    17 Aug 9:05am Reply
  • bloodmaw

    good rip of xoul is finally out

    15 Aug 1:20am Reply
  • DangerFromHell

    Args SPluge Aedgerfreid

    12 Aug 4:53am Reply
  • YellaPaint

    find something new to love about this dude's music every time i listen to it

    10 Aug 6:35am Reply
  • phlegm-yo

    slsk

    7 Aug 1:00am Reply
  • SimonWoerner

    where can i listen to "xoul"?

    5 Aug 10:30pm Reply
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