May 13, 2016 23:00
A night with the digital rhythms of two of the most interesting musicians of the famous London independent label Ninja Tune, founded in 1991 by DJs Matt Black and Jonathan More, with a strong propensity to electronic music, alternative hip hop, nu jazz, drum and bass.
London-based producer Darren Cunningham aka Actress has gained an impressive reputation over the last several years. By now, he’s a revered figurehead of electronic music, moving between tradition, progression and daring experimentation within dance music. Like kindred spirits such as Burial or Zomby, he’s one of the leading innovators on the fringes of the dancefloor.
Hailing from Wolverhampton in England’s West Midlands, Cunningham moved to London in the early 2000s and started out running his own club nights, but soon came up with his first 12″ record, released on his own Werkdiscs label, which he founded in 2004. The imprint subsequently released records by other upcoming young producers like Lukid, Zomby, Lone or Starkey, with the latest impressive additions being an EP by Hamburg-based Helena Hauff and Lukid’s low-key anthems on his 2012 album “Lonely at the Top”.
Although Actress’ debut LP Hazyville was released in 2008, it was not until “Splazsh” (2010) that he truly broke through, and 2012’s “R.I.P” ultimately disclosed his maverick approach to sound and structure. Both albums showcase a love for noisy experimentation, knackered though lush loops, and colorfully shimmering ambience, all of which references the dancefloor but doesn’t seem to care for its rules. Actress isn’t the kind of techno outsider that many offbeat producers have been representing lately—instead he operates from the center of the scene, heaving his tracks to a meta level, building artefacts that contemplate on dance music and what they could be. That’s what you might call a pioneer.
Singer, producer and songwriter Seven Davis Jr was born in Texas. As a child he was raised in Northern California where he trained as a gospel & jazz singer, brought up on the vocal influences of artists such as Prince, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.
Before reaching adulthood Seven Davis Jr rejected several major label offers, instead opting to continue creating in private and remaining behind the scenes sharpening his own skills whilst ghost writing & ghost producing.
He debuted internationally on Kutmah’s “Worldwide Family” Vol. 2 (Brownswood Recordings) with the track “Thanks”. Other releases soon followed including, “One” EP (Must Have Records), “The Lost Tapes” Vol. 1 (IZWID Records), “P.A.R.T.Y” EP (Apron Records), and “Friends” EP (Classic).
From 2012 onward Seven Davis Jr took to the skies touring worldwide, bringing his unique combination of live vocals and occasional live instrumentation to musical realms that had previously only been occupied by DJs. While Seven Davis Jr is not a DJ, he has since made several dear friends in the DJ community and is now expanding to play concerts & festivals.
In 2014 he finally accepted a recording offer and Ninja Tune became his new home. Together they released the “Wild Hearts” 12″ in 2015 and will soon release his first full length album “Universes”.