Actress DJ Kicks

Actress DJ Kicks

Fresh from the release of a stellar mix from Russian heavyweight Nina Kraviz, !K7’s venerated DJ-Kicks series continues its hot streak with a singular hour-long set from British techno-related visionary Actress.

Darren Cunningham’s contribution, which will be the DJ-Kicks collection's 49th instalment, follows a benchmark year of standout releases from the producer/DJ. He released his fourth full-length effort, Ghettoville, followed it up with a re-release of his debut LP Hazyville, and unleashed the limited-edition black label Xoul on his own Werkdiscs label. In addition to his own output, he supported other artists’ endeavors to push house and techno formats to new artistic horizons with a solid run of records on his own imprint, including a critically-acclaimed album from London’s Moiré, and by collaborating with Copeland on the production duties for her first solo LP, Because I’m Worth It.

Actress applied a similarly imaginative approach to his DJ-Kicks. “When I’m selecting music I’m not always thinking about the music alone,” Cunningham explains. “I’m thinking about the names of the artists, tracks, and labels, and what they mean to me. I often base my tracklisting purely on how well the track titles work together in a poetic sense.”

“I’ve tried to keep space between tracks, allowing them to speak,” he continues. “I tried not to force BPM shifts and to let the programming remain choppy and quick.”

His fearless transitions stitch together classics from icons like Chez Damier, Ron Trent, and Autechre with selections from the contemporary avant-garde, from trance deconstructionist Lorenzo Senni to the highly regarded PAN label. His eclectic set also draws from precocious outsider talents such as Greg Beato, whose release as Breaker 1 2 on Forbidden Planet opens the mix, and Hank Jackson, a Brooklyn-based beatmaker whose clever drum programming regularly appears on Anthony Naples’ Proibito label.

Of course, the DJ-Kicks wouldn’t be complete without an exclusive production from the author himself. “Bird Matrix,” a track he made just after he finished writing Ghettoville. “My studio was going through a transition, so I was testing all the equipment, and that was one of the first tunes that came out of those experiments,” he explains. It’s a fittingly exploratory tune for a mix that balances traditional functionality with dance music’s cutting edge.

01 Breaker 1 2 – 2
02 Lorenzo Senni – Elegant, and Never Tiring
03 Reel by Real – Look At Me
04 Autechre – Pen Expers
05 Chameleon – Thought 2
06 Beneath – Stress 1
07 Simbiosi – Impari
08 Zennor – Tin
09 John Beltran – Anticipation
10 Moon B – Those Moments
11 STL – Psychelicious
12 Snakepiss – Toil
13 Shit and Shine – Pearl Drop
14 Chez n Trent – Windy City Club
15 Mark Fell – Section 1-7
16 GNESIS – Pear
17 Shxcxchcxsh – LDWGWTT
18 Hank Jackson – Track 3
19 Actress – Bird Matrix (DJ-Kicks)
20 Gherkin Jerks – Red Planet

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