Actress is the recording name of avant-garde UK producer Darren Cunningham. Since the release of his first 12” in 2004 on his own Werkdiscs label, Cunningham has steadily gained an internationally revered reputation for his thrilling take on electronic dance music.
Drawing on a deep appreciation for early 80s funk and electro, techno, art rock, house and noise, Cunningham put out his debut Actress album Hazyville on Werkdiscs in 2008. Splazsh followed two years later via Damon Albarn’s Honest Jon’s label, which The Wire honored as their 2010 album of the year.
In 2012, Cunningham released his third album R.I.P. on Honest Jon’s to universal critical acclaim, including Best New Music on Pitchfork. Outside of his personal practice, Cunningham collaborated with the Tate Modern for a specially commissioned live music performance as part of their Yayoi Kusama exhibition. He also produced remixes for John Cale and Kasabian, adding to a remix back catalogue that includes Radiohead, Joy Orbison and Laurel Halo.
On the Werkdiscs label side, Cunningham has proved his acutely tuned ear for A&R time and time again with records by Zomby, Lukid and Lone. After a short hiatus the label forged a partnership with long-running independent Ninja Tune in 2012, cemented with the release of Lukid’s Lonely at the Top album in winter 2012 and newcomer Moiré’s debut 12” in February 2013. 2013 will see the imminent release of the fourth Actress album, Ghettoville [Werkdiscs/Ninja Tune], the much-anticipated sequel-of-sorts to Hazyville.