Magazine article The Fader

Of Two Minds: Actress Splits Music in Half

Magazine article The Fader

Of Two Minds: Actress Splits Music in Half

Article excerpt

Darren Cunningham comes from Wolverhampton, a town a few hours outside of London, occasionally called Wolves, whose motto is "out of darkness, cometh light." Cunningham appropriately says his days "are usually black ..." and later follows with, "At the root is home, family, and friends," almost as if he were his hometown's public spokesperson. "Where I'm from is very important to me." As if to bring both sides of himself and his hometown together, Cunningham started making music as Actress, music that floats from post-J Dilla chopped-hop to tracks with more rigid drum machine architecture, but always with his signature worrisome mist over top. Actress is for dusk or dawn, never midnight or noon.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Cunningham released the first Actress album, Hazyville, on his own Werk imprint, and as a way of answering questions about his role as both an A&R man and an artist, he defers to the art world. "I A&R for Werk like a curator for a gallery would select pieces. I've never been in a gallery where the gallery itself isn't amazing to look at. It's all one and the same. It should all be 3-D, from the greeting at the door to the smell in the building, it's all part of the sensation." As evidence of his comprehensive vision, one need look no further than Cunningham's release of Zomby's Where Were U in '92? and subsequent collaboration with the infamously guarded Londoner on some more recent, appropriately dark sonic drama.

Where the process of releasing and producing music are perfectly meshed, though, the best Actress tracks are birthed from an internal dichotomy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.