The alias of Wolverhampton, England-based producer Darren Cunningham, Actress was credited with some of the least predictable, categorization-defying electronic dance music of the 2000s. Since debuting in 2004 with the No Tricks 12" on his own Werk Discs label, Cunningham juggled a diverse array of inspirations -- including early-'80s funk and electro, art rock, raw and classicist house, and noise -- while putting a fresh, challenging spin on them. As a result, his productions confounded some DJs while also being devoured by others within the realms of house, techno, and dubstep. Cunningham released a pair of albums, the promising Hazyville (Werk, 2008) and the exceptional Splazsh (Honest Jon's, 2010), and remixed tracks by a select list of fellow producers including Kassem Mosse, Joy Orbison, Alex Smoke, and Panda Bear. At the same time, Werk Discs was one of the most revered dance labels -- a trusted outlet for the likes of Lone, Zomby, and Lukid.
In 2012 Cunningham released his third album under the Actress moniker, titled R.I.P., which was widely praised by critics and fans alike. The same year he collaborated with Japanese artist Yayoi Kasuma for a live music performance at the Tate Modern gallery in London, as well as remixing tracks for John Cale and Kasabian. His fourth release, Ghettoville, was slated to arrive in early 2014. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi