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Review /\ Actress DJ Kicks Mix

Actress Ninja Tune Werkdiscs on cone Magazine

Forget your smooth transitions and 16 bar beats. Actress has completely flipped the script with this raw, eclectic, and thoroughly enjoyable mix for the 49th installment of DJ-Kicks.

I was apprehensive, yet excited to hear exactly what this mix would sound like. Actress had been vocal in the fact he would not allow BPM’s to dictate his track selection, he wanted the tracks to really speak for themselves. You can read more about the reasoning behind Actresses’ track selections here. Would this result in an awkward, jarring mix? Or in actual fact, the complete opposite. A unique and thoughtful musical experience contained within a mere one hour set. After a thoroughly enjoyable hour, I can confirm it is wholeheartedly the latter.

Initially I was greeted with the familiar bass and hi hat combination, a comforting yet safe sound, definitely not pushing any musical boundaries thus far. This continues with the addition of some mild ambiance and a simplistic techno beat, easy listening but again, nothing ground-breaking. Then, suddenly, with no warning, a complete change of pace. A breath of fresh air as you exhale the deep bass and inhale a sprightly synth accompanied by heavy phaser. Reminiscent in my mind of Floating PointsNuits Sonores, Actress introduces a new flavour to the mix with Lorenzo Senni’s Elegant, and Never Tiring.

This seemingly random yet ingenious flow continues throughout, twisting and turning with all manner of sounds, all contributing to the bizarre but hypnotic nature of the mix, the uncertainty of just what is coming next is strangely addictive. From Tin by Zennor, providing a bass infused oriental vibe snaking smoothly into a disco beat as Those Moments by Moon B kicks in, oozing funk whilst being peppered with some jazzy saxophone.

Like any good artist, Actress signs this masterpiece with his own exclusive production. 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. Its penultimate placing within the mix allows for a moment of reflection, to comprehend what exactly it just is you’ve listened to, before rounding off with Gherkin Jerks 1989 spacey classic, Red Planet.

This mix definitely isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s highly experimental, which may serve as a deterrent for many, however there will be many others, myself included, who thinks it’s utterly brilliant. There’s a delicate balance between genius and insanity and Actress has expertly traversed his way along to bring us this fantastic installment for the 49th DJ-Kicks.



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







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