London producer Actress tends to keep a low profile. While there are a number of interviews with him, he seems to remain rather mysterious. His new album, titled AZD, does the same: minimalistic beats, no vocals, and all around mysterious. Ahead of his show at Walter’s Downtown on Saturday, Free Press Houston spoke with Darren Cunningham about electronic culture in the UK, keeping a low profile, and concept albums.
Free Press Houston: Being based out of London, can you talk about the importance of NTS Radio, even for the London scene alone? I know you’ve made some sets for them in the past.
Actress: I think NTS has filled a vital void. It enables traveling artists to the UK to promote themselves and it gives a voice to the local scene, be that events, parties and up and coming producers. But aside from all this it provides a platform keying into music that would never otherwise be heard on the airwaves, therefore being really important for DIY labels.
FPH: Since it’s rather difficult to find info regarding their audience/fan base, I’m unaware of how significant that is to people who like that stuff. Is it massive there in London?
Actress: It’s a global thing now. They have a station in LA and they do a lot of onsite productions at festivals around the world. It’s pretty massive, yeah.
FPH: I guess it’s fair to say that they’re essentially the counterculture, playing stuff that the BBC wouldn’t, right?
FPH: Yeah. What about those essential mixes? Does Radio One still do that? I remember hearing some of the archived ones on YouTube and thinking some were really good from the ’90s – early 2000’s.
Actress: As far as I’m aware they do.
FPH: Your style is labeled as minimalist and your name is, too. When you really started to attract attention under it were you wanting to almost be covered up by the a-list actresses on the internet when they look up “Actress”?
FPH: Considering what’s going on in Hollywood right now, I imagine some might perceive your name to represent solidarity. As cliche as the question is, does the word “Actress” have any significance?
Actress: To me, the name has clear significance in many areas. All the things you think it says it says.
FPH: AZD seems like a bit of a breakaway from your last two full lengths, Ghettosville and Hazyville. Would you call those two concept albums, per se?
Actress: All my albums are concept album aside from Hazyville, which was an ode to a love lost.