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The FACT Awards 2014 are underway!

Champagne flutes at the ready – we’re going to be announcing our winners one at a time. First off, Best British Male…

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Best British Male: Actress

Dean Blunt may have made FACT’s number one album of 2013, but who could deny Darren Cunningham’s last 12 months? A sour swansong in Ghettoville, excellent EPs in Silver Cloud and Grey Over Blue, and new recruits to his Werk Discs label – Actress was large (well, tall) and in charge this year, and deservedly takes home one of FACT’s top gongs. After much cajoling by Lukid and Ninja Tune representatives at his table, an immaculately dressed Cunningham took to the stage, mumbled a short series of ‘thank you’s and scuttled off.

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Best British Female: FKA Twigs 

She may have only released a handful of singles, but the recent Young Turks signing repped for quality over quality this year and takes home the prize. Unfortunately her magic moment was cut short by a Kanye-esque interruption by fellow nominee Eclair Fifi, who marauded the stage, grabbed the mic, and launched into a tirade about Scottish independence that, if we’re honest, went over everybody’s head.

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Best British Group: Livity Sound 

Mogwai (Les Revenants soundtrack, UK top 10 with Rave Tapes) and Demdike Stare (four obscenely good Testpressings 12″s) ran them close, but Livity Sound’s banner year proved too strong. A quiet, polite acceptance speech by Kowton and co was overshadowed by Sleaford Mods, who emerged as this year’s Chumbawamba, soaking an altogether-unwelcome Nick Clegg in the aisles.

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Best British Single: Flava D – ‘Hold On’

The bookies had MssingNo’s ‘XE2′ as favourite, but Butterz’ first lady Flava D caused an upset with just the sort of rushing garage-pop that the IRL charts could do with more of right now. She can’t have seen it coming, too – while giving her speech she was visibly overwhelmed, though that may have been caused by a front row of devoted fans in Flava-style hat / blonde wig combos.

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Best British Album: Dean Blunt – The Redeemer

He may have been pipped to the post on best male, but no one was stopping the ex-Hype Williams may in the album category. There was no speech. There was no Dean Blunt.

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Best British Breakthrough Act: Murlo

MssingNo may have had FACT’s track of the year, but a steady stream of twisted grime corkers and a brilliant FACT mix meant Murlo took home the award – and yes, he did accept it in that tracksuit.

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Best International Male: Galcher Lustwerk

He produces, he raps and he rocks a mean press shot – in arguably the awards’ most tightly-contested category, the White Material boy came up trumps. Let’s just make sure it doesn’t go to his head: his performance of ‘Put On’ to open the FACT Awards was a bit of a car crash, mostly due to a completely unnecessary cameo by forgotten man Mark Morrison.

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Best International Female: Beyonce

Sky, Kelela, Stellar and Katie may have all released startlingly good records in 2013, but Beyonce turned up and threw down right at the year’s close – and we all bowed down, bitches. ‘Yonce couldn’t make the ceremony, but a acceptance speech via satellite link that seemed to go on for hours meant that nobody was too fussed about her no-show at the post-ceremony drinks.

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Best International Group: The Knife

Fire, aerobics, cheerleaders and more – The Knife’s appearance at the FACT Brits was less a live performance, more a socio-political-conceptual-whateveral deconstruction of the very concept of award shows, exposing them as a pointless procession of back-slapping and bland glamour that only serves to entitle the already entitled and reestablish chart hegemony. Everyone marvelled, nobody quite got it, no one ever really needs to go back and watch it again. A bit like Shaking the Habitual, basically.

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Lifetime Achievement: Eliane Radigue 

Beloved by drone fetishists and Buddhists alike, Eliane Radigue’s contemplative long-form compositions have slowly but steadily gone from strength to strength since her initial experiments in the early 1970s. Since then she’s built up an estimable catalogue of works that are to meditation what Skrillex’s ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ is to the naive consumption of bath salts. Probably unsurprisingly, 82 year-old Radigue canned her planned speech, instead asking the audience to close their eyes and concentrate on a wavering synthesizer tone. We all woke up feeling slightly groggy, and missing a couple of quid in pocket change.

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