A look back on Actress’s 2009 mix of “21st century pillow talk, diss records and Alan Partridge funk.”

It seemed as if 2014’s Ghettoville could be the final bow from techno visionary Darren Cunningham as Actress, but next month he returns with fifth album AZD, “a chrome reflected journey into a parallel world” inspired in part by outsider artist James Hampton and hip-hop pioneer Rammellzee.

Cunningham’s discography is vast, but mixes from the London-dwelling artist are rare. To tide us over while we wait for AZD, we dug into the FACT archives to reappraise one of his earliest online sets, “a colour reel of 21st century pillow talk, diss records and Alan Partridge funk” recorded live in 2009.

For anyone that’s just arrived to the music of Actress, his mix of ‘70s disco, vintage funk and even Pac-Man might seem unusually poppy. However, as anyone who went to Actress and Lukid’s irregular Thriller parties at London’s Plastic People during this time will remember, Cunningham has always been a party-starting DJ at heart. It’s in this vein that his FACT mix unfolds, thinking nothing of putting wiry techno from Terrence Dixon next to classic electro from T La Rock.

Tracklist:

Intro: Daft Punk Essential Mix (BBC Radio 1 Broadcast)
Carol Jiani – Bum Rap
Mtume – Hip Dip Skipdabeat
Boards Of Canada – Nlogax
Beautiful Swimmers – Swimmers Groove
Cat Stevens – Was Dog A Doughnut
The Evasions – Wikka Wrap
Willie Hutch – In and Out
Prince And The Revolution – Erotic City
Terrence Dixon – Bionic Man EP
T La Rock – Flow With New Style
Jonzun Crew – Space Is The Place
Neon – Eon
Me-naj-ah-twa – La La La (Rhythm D Instrumental)
Unknown Artist – Power Pill
Dennis Brown – Promised Land Riddim (Thriller Extended Edit)

Listen next: FACT Classic Mix: Oneohtrix Point Never

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