Actress released an EP from his AI alter ego Young Paint on his new Werk_LTD imprint of Vinyl Factory this Autumn which was included in RA’s Best of October and can be streamed in full via FACT. In Actress’s own words:
The EP is about gradients of learning, from a humanist perspective investigating the vacant soul of computer language, determination and logic at its most basic natural level … Exploring complex simplicity and reimagining it as a sort of sonic paint with splats, sprays, splashes, dots in an Impressionistic fashion.
He will be presenting it’s live AV debut at CTM / transmediale in Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt on Feb.1 + 2, 2019. The show will feature Young Paint projected lifesize on stage performing beside Actress in his own virtual space with virtual gear. Visuals will be produced by Werkflow however Young Paint will be in control of his own movements and musical choices. No two shows will be the same!
Young Paint has been progressively learning and emulating the shadowy, unpredictable, UK bass- and rave-inspired music of Darren J. Cunningham, aka Actress. Over the course of 2018, the AI-based character has spent time programming and arranging Cunningham’s sonic palette, learning not only how to react to his work, but also to take the lead with the occasional solo.
The show has also been announced for Sonar Barcelona next July with more dates including London TBA very soon!
NOW BOOKING: Actress Young Paint AI AV show, Actress live AV and techno DJ sets. Contact ned [at] lb-agency.net and brandon [at] lb-agency.net
LITTLEBIG was founded by Ned Beckett in the UK in 2004. Representing the world’s finest leftfield artists including Aphex Twin, Jon Hopkins, Autechre, Battles, Clark and 65daysofstatic, the agency – whilst primarily focusing on concert and tour booking – produces special events worldwide, and to its artists it also offers management and consultancy.
With offices in Brighton, Bristol and Berlin, the agency is thrilled to announce its expansion; it has opened a London office, under the banner NEWFORM.
Headed up by the agency’s newest agent-addition, Nathalie Blue, NEWFORM will offer agency, production and consultancy services to composers, musicians and ensembles working between genres and forms. It builds on the agency’s belief in supporting artist visions, with a special focus on the intersection between contemporary classical, electronic and visual culture. NEWFORM will produce and tour a range of unique artists and projects.
Nathalie Blue – who brings a wealth of expertise and experience from her years working in London agencies such as Primary Talent and Harrison Parrott – explains that NEWFORM will “offer a service which will allow us to curate, connect and promote the best in contemporary live performance”. And LITTLEBIG director Ned Beckett couldn’t be happier with the new entity; “I’m thrilled to welcome such a talented and experienced person to the LITTLEBIG family. Nathalie’s vision fits with our way of thinking, and how we look to evolve our work into new areas in the future.”
Further to announcing its new London office, there’s an incredibly exciting development for the LITTLEBIG Berlin headquarters too. The agency has teamed up with new Berlin-based agency, QUIETLOUD. After two decades operating as Backroom Entertainment, Alma Ernst and her fantastic 7-person team are beginning a new chapter under the QUIETLOUD banner, sharing office space, insight and expertise with LITTLEBIG.
This joint-venture between the two agencies has been formed to expand each organisations network and collaborative possibilities, continuing their shared passion and enduring dedication to developing the live careers of artists they truly believe in and are inspired by. Two cutting-edge organisations will now collaborate, and will continue building amazing live careers for artists, and special experiences for audiences.
65daysofstatic // Actress // Afrodeutsche // Aisha Devi // Aleksi Perala // Anika // Aphex Twin // And So I Watch You From Afar // Autechre // Battles // Ben Frost // Ben Lukas Boysen // Bjarki // Bobbie Johnson // Braids // Camila Fuchs // Clark // Claro Intelecto // Clouds // Conforce // Daniel Lanois // Danny Daze // Dopplereffekt // Emmanuel // Emptyset // Eomac // Felixs Machines // Gábor Lázár // Gazelle Twin // Giant Swan // Hidden Orchestra // Holly Herndon // JETS // Jimmy Edgar // JoeFarr // Jon Hopkins // Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith // Kangding Ray // Kiki Hitomi // Kyoka // Lakker // Leisure System // Lisa Morgenstern // Luke Vibert // Maenad Veyl // Mariel Ito // Mark Ernestus // Max Cooper // Mira Calix // Mouse On Mars // Múm // Nathan Fake // Photay // Plaid // Powell // Randomer // Richard Devine // Rival Consoles // Roly Porter // Roman Lindau // Ryan James Ford // Shackleton // The Field // Tikiman live with Scion // Tim Exile // Tropic of Cancer // Tzusing // Venetian Snares // Wolf Eyes // Yaleesa Hall // Zebra Katz
Alex From Tokyo | Andre Bratten | Andy Hart | Bloody Mary | Brock Van Wey / bvdub | Christopher Rau | Curses | Daniele Baldelli | Elektro Guzzi | Engyn | Ian Pooley | Idjut Boys | KiNK | Kirilik | Lord Of The Isles | Max Graef | Morgan Geist | Mr Tophat | Musk | No Moon | Otologic | Paramida | Perel | Robert Henke and all aliases: Atom/ Monolake/ Lumière/ Piercing | Tim Sweeney | Todd Terje | Woo York
Never one to sit still, Actress aka Darren Cunningham has been busy on multiple fronts recently. Just announced is the collaborative album with the London City Orchestra “LAGEOS” – out May 25th on Ninja Tune.
Actress x LCO will perform their second Barbican show on May 26th following their sold out performance in 2017. We are now booking select collaborative shows in UK and EU – contact Ned.
Check the Crack Magazine mini feature on the project:
Meanwhile, the Actress live AV show is evolving over select shows worldwide and will continue to tour through 2018 and into 2019. Always a different flow depending on location and where Darren wants to take it, check a recent full show at the ARTE Festival in Paris:
New music has also been surfacing:
New ‘Watercolour Challenge’ track on Modeselektion EP
Earlier this year, Actress aka Darren Daz Cunnigham – released AZD, the first new music from the reclusive producer in three years. The simplest you could say about AZD, is that its art the unique creation of a unique mind. There will be few more distinctive, brilliant or visionary suites of music released in 2017. Call him what you will, this is the year that Actress asserts more clearly than ever before his complete independence.
He recently played a string of US summer dates, which included a live performance at MoMa PS1’s WarmUp event. Now he is back for a extended fall tour of the US/North America and Europe with a brand new live/AV set that includes two AI performers on either side of the stage and a special appearance from Actress’ ‘Chrome Man’ figure on keyboard. A special preview of the set up can be viewed here.
This tour includes a handful of Texas dates alongside Telefon Tel Aviv and shows in Montreal, Brooklyn and Toronto with Nicolas Jaar as well as a performance at the 5th annual III Points Festival in Miami.
In a short film last year, Darren Cunningham, who’s better known as Actress, and Hugh Brunt, of the London Contemporary Orchestra, said they wanted to create and play music together that was a true hybrid. When they said this they probably had the same thing in mind: those electronic-meets-classical projects that simply recreate dance tracks with acoustic instruments. In truth, there was never a danger this collaboration would be conventional. Cunningham is one of electronic music’s most adventurous artists, a member of a small group of producers who have created a sound that’s entirely—and recognisably—their own. For their part, the LCO seems to value innovation and collaboration above all else. They’ve worked extensively with artists from different musical disciplines (Matmos, Arcade Fire, William Basinski, Biosphere, Mira Calix, Goldfrapp and many others) and have been involved in film scores such as the Jonny Greenwood-led soundtrack for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. The collaboration between Actress and the LCO took shape last year, with performances at The Barbican in London and Moscow’s Strelka Institute, while the EP they released last month is the first taste of a forthcoming album for Ninja Tune. Together, they’ve created something that finds both acts in a new musical zone.
When you see the LCO perform in this RA Session you’ll understand why Cunningham liked the idea of working with them. Almost all of the instruments in this performance are played in unusual ways: the cello is banged, the piano is plucked, the marimba is draped with a blanket, a plastic bag is used as percussion. Blended with Cunningham’s ghostly electronics, we get a strange yet captivating 12-minute, four-part performance.
The release follows Actress’ excellent new album AZD and is sourced from a collaborative performance held last year at the Barbican Centre London and Strelka Institute Moscow through Boiler Room. Alongside the 12″ release, Boiler Room TV will unveil a video of the performance.
Look for Audio Track 5 September 1 and check out the artwork and tracklist below.
Actress, aka Darren Cunningham, returns with a new album, now on Ninja Tune and a new music system called AZD (pronounced “Azid”), a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world. The album in few days has reached #3 in UK Electronic iTunes Album Chart and #5 in the US one. The album reviews, until now, leave no doubts: AZD is a masterpiece.
“Actress’ sixth LP reaches deep into both Cunningham’s clubbiest and most avant-garde impulses, exploring language and Afrofuturism while maintaining a musicality that holds the listener close”. (Pitchfork)
“It feels unfussy and workmanlike. Which isn’t to do it down: now that he’s back to just getting on with it, Cunningham can once again produce mirage-like moments of beauty like nobody else”. (Resident Advisor)
“AZD is an album you have to digest in full rather than dipping in and out. If you put in the effort this is one of the most rewarding albums of the year so far” (Drowned in the Sound)
Actress debuted his new live show at a sold out Village Underground on March 24th, and the tour has just started.
Actress, Darren Jordan Cunningham, returns with a new album, now on Ninja Tune and a new music system called “AZD” (pronounced “Azid”), a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world. Actress, an artist who has always preferred to make music than to talk about it, in “AZD” has achieved another remarkable landmark, one which is as resistant to interpretation as it is demanding of it.
As if the record itself isn’t enough, Cunningham is currently preparing a new live show, to be debuted at as part of Convergence at Village Underground on March 24th. Presented as AZD, Cunningham says it “will be a test frame for linking circuits using various forms of language — Midi globalised language, Lyrical language, Tikal Graffiti code and various other Synthesiser language — to create one intelligent musical instrument called AZD, if successful it will produce the first translucent, non-soluble communication sound pill synergised through impressionistic interpretations of technological equipment. This is the music vitamin of the Metropolis.”
The simplest you could say about “AZD” is that it’s art – the unique creation of a unique mind. There will be few more distinctive, brilliant or visionary suites of music released in 2017. Call him what you will, this is the year that Darren ‘Daz’ Cunningham – aka Actress, aka AZD – asserts more clearly than ever before his complete independence. Do not miss the chance to experience the unknown this year, follow Actress in his shows this year.
A unique collaboration commissioned and curated by Boiler Room and the London Contemporary Orchestra pairs producer Darren Cunningham, aka Actress, with the LCO. Having sold out its world-premiere performance at London’s Barbican, this startling live show is now available for further touring.
Over a decade of releases Cunningham has built a reputation as a fine creator of cerebral abstract techno, or R&B concrète, crafting pulsing kickdrums, jittering percussion and chopped sample loops into churning, rumbling tracks soaked in static. But he has also been on record saying he wants to make‘classical stuff for a modern generation’, an ambition finally realised with this project.
Emphasising the rich textures of his music, the LCO bring a new dimension to Cunningham’s choice of sounds which celebrate the ambiguity of sound colour that sits between electronic and acoustic spaces. With the producer in effect using them as a new instrument, matching his electronic loops with precise manipulation of their acoustic instruments, together they form a heightened kind of chamber music.
This project has been curated by Boiler Room and the LCO with the support of Arts Council England and the backing of leading British independent record label Ninja Tune. The premiere performance of this collaboration was broadcast live from the Barbican Centre on February 10th 2016.
Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “This project combines two very different forms of practice and communities of music lovers… This live and experimental collaboration will help cement Boiler Room’s place as a leading forum for new music and enhance the range of content on offer to its online audience across England.”
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England