K7319Fresh from the release of a stellar mix from Russian heavyweight Nina Kraviz, !K7’s venerated DJ-Kicks series continues its hot streak with a singular hour-long set from British techno-related visionary Actress.

Darren Cunningham’s contribution, which will be the DJ-Kicks collection’s 49th instalment, follows a benchmark year of standout releases from the producer/DJ. He released his fourth full-length effort, Ghettoville, followed it up with a re-release of his debut LP Hazyville, and unleashed the limited-edition black label Xoul on his own Werkdiscs label. In addition to his own output, he supported other artists’ endeavors to push house and techno formats to new artistic horizons with a solid run of records on his own imprint, including a critically-acclaimed album from London’s Moiré, and by collaborating with Copeland on the production duties for her first solo LP, Because I’m Worth It.

Actress applied a similarly imaginative approach to his DJ-Kicks. “When I’m selecting music I’m not always thinking about the music alone,” Cunningham explains. “I’m thinking about the names of the artists, tracks, and labels, and what they mean to me. I often base my tracklisting purely on how well the track titles work together in a poetic sense.

I’ve tried to keep space between tracks, allowing them to speak,” he continues. “I tried not to force BPM shifts and to let the programming remain choppy and quick.

His fearless transitions stitch together classics from icons like Chez Damier, Ron Trent, and Autechre with selections from the contemporary avant-garde, from trance deconstructionist Lorenzo Senni to the highly regarded PAN label. His eclectic set also draws from precocious outsider talents such as Greg Beato, whose release as Breaker 1 2 on Forbidden Planet opens the mix, and Hank Jackson, a Brooklyn-based beatmaker whose clever drum programming regularly appears on Anthony Naples’ Proibito label.

Of course, the DJ-Kicks wouldn’t be complete without an exclusive production from the author himself. “Bird Matrix,” a track he made just after he finished writing Ghettoville. “My studio was going through a transition, so I was testing all the equipment, and that was one of the first tunes that came out of those experiments,” he explains. It’s a fittingly exploratory tune for a mix that balances traditional functionality with dance music’s cutting edge.


01 Breaker 1 2 – 2

02 Lorenzo Senni – Elegant, and Never Tiring

03 Reel by Real – Look At Me

04 Autechre – Pen Expers

05 Chameleon – Thought 2

06 Beneath – Stress 1

07 Simbiosi – Impari

08 Zennor – Tin

09 John Beltran – Anticipation

10 Moon B – Those Moments

11 STL – Psychelicious

12 Snakepiss – Toil

13 Shit and Shine – Pearl Drop

14 Chez n Trent – Windy City Club

15 Mark Fell – Section 1-7

16 GNESIS – Pear

17 Shxcxchcxsh – LDWGWTT

18 Hank Jackson – Track 3

19 Actress – Bird Matrix (DJ-Kicks)

20 Gherkin Jerks – Red Planet



A1 Lorenzo Senni – Elegant, and Never Tiring

A2 Reel by Real – Look At Me

A3 Simbiosi – Impari

B1 John Beltran – Anticipation

B2 Shit and Shine – Pearl Drop

C1 Chez n Trent – Windy City Club

C2 Mark Fell – Section 1-7

D1 Actress – Bird Matrix (DJ-Kicks)

D2 Gherkin Jerks – Red Planet