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Music |


Tuesday 01 November 2011

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Words Spindle

Industrial pop duo Curxes have been making the rounds on the blogosphere of late. Their sound, a gothic-industrial cocktail distilled with pop sensibilities, is catching the attention of many, and rightly so. This, coupled with their striking aesthetic, make them the most promising electro pop duo since…erm…Hurts. But don’t let that put you off. Spindle spoke to Curxes to ask them about their love for Depeche Mode, secret collaborations and the potential for an industrial comeback.

Spindle: You been recording throughout the year, but have only recently started playing live, including a support slot this week with Planningtorock. How have you found the process of transferring the songs to work in a live space and did you feel the gigs went well???Roberta:  We were a little sceptical about the transition from a collection of bedroom-written songs to a?live environment, but when you see how other two-piece acts like the Pet Shop Boys and The Knife? (something old, something new) have created such a huge spectacle with music, visuals and theatrics, it inspires you and instills confidence in what you can do. I hope the gigs have gone well – we’ve enjoyed?playing and have met a lot of nice people who have talked drum sounds with us.  I love the visual aspect too, going out with a rubbish camera combined with even worse eyesight and just seeing what happens.??Macaulay: We’ve played some great gigs recently, but the one with Planningtorock went really well; all?of the acts fitted perfectly so fans of the headliner could enjoy the supports too. Though I’m sure I won’t be alone in saying that judging by Janine’s music and image, her name doesn’t seem to fit with her act, but I’ve been assured that this is intentional and meant to be firmly tongue-in-cheek…??S: There has been a lot of comparisons with your music and others who use industrial sounds, such as Zola?Jesus. Do you feel like industrial pop is making a come back, or is it Depeche Mode fans like myself getting a bit over excited???Macaulay: I don’t think it ever really went away. That style has always remained popular in mainland?Europe but it just hasn’t been at the forefront so much in recent years. It would be interesting if there was a huge industrial resurgence but it feels that music has passed the point of having new genre movements. For example it’s unlikely we’ll see a massive Grunge or Brit Pop happening ever again and if there is (which is very possible), it will just be a quick flash in the pan before moving on to the next thing.

Roberta: I’m not sure. I still believe that there will be genre movements, although the presentation?and technical implementation will be very different. ??S: Talking of Depeche Mode, you have cited them and other 80s electro acts such as Erasure and Kraftwerk as?influences, what was it about these bands and sounds that inspired you to write music in this style? I’m thinking in contrast to your last band where you’ve mention the electronic element wasn’t so welcomed…??Macaulay: We both love electronic music and thought it would be fun to try our hand at it. I learned early on that you could create a massive wall of sound using synthesisers and backing tracks whilst retaining that live element and not compromising your songs. Depeche Mode are a great example of how you can write great pop with decent lyrics and hooks whilst being experimental and avoiding convention. We’ve subconsciously taken?that blueprint and applied it to our music too and it’s only recently that we realised that.??Roberta: They were unconventional with their approach to sound and never cared if it was cool or not.??S: You have a very strong aesthetic look which accompanies your sound, how important is this to your process?of creating music and to you both as people???Macaulay: We appreciate vintage clothes in general and they’re the same ones we wear the rest of the time, so it’s not just an ‘on-stage’ and ‘photoshoot’ kind of situation. As Roberta has previously mentioned in other interviews, we both feel a bit misplaced in the modern age and prefer most things about the past; the sense of unity, respect for culture and taking an interest in current affairs; all things which are frighteningly absent from some people’s minds today. They most certainly affect our music as we refuse to be apathetic and disinterested in what’s happening outside of our own lives.

Roberta: There is something enduring and beautiful about artefacts from the past. I often go to Snoopers?in Brighton and rifle through the boxes of old photos. You can buy somebody’s Christmas for 75 pence or their blissful seaside holiday for a couple of pounds, but whatever value is placed on it, I still wish I was there. Their clothes fitted so much better too.??S: You mention in an interview you were possibly working on some remixes for other artists…anyone we might?know???Macaulay: We’ve done a couple of remixes for up and coming artists, one of which is [Strangers] who we?share a lot of common ground with. They’ve got a very interesting electronic sound and aesthetic so we’ll be doing some other stuff with them in the near future. Check out their song ‘Promises’ for a taster. We can’t mention who the other remix is for just yet, though you may have already heard of them.??S: You also mentioned that you have been in the studio with some mystery guests who are very well known.  Care to elaborate on who these mysterious folk are and what you’re cooking up???Macaulay: Erm, this may or may not have been a drunken slip from one of us… at the moment it’s just?the two of us doing everything in the studio with our own music. We were previously in the running to do a remix for a very successful trip-hop artist, but unfortunately it didn’t come into fruition. I hear a certain synthpop legend who likes being in his car has done a superb job though.??Roberta: Oh no! My secret Vengaboys collaboration is out of the bag…??S: There was a little debate between The Recommender and Breaking More Waves recently about whether you’re a Brighton or Portsmouth based act. Can you settle this once and for all? And how important is identifying with a local area or scene to you, or has the internet killed that sense of belonging to a local scene of past decades???Macaulay: We can settle it by saying that we are Brighton-based, for now. The previous band was based in?Portsmouth so this may be where any confusion came from, though I believe that both Mike from The Recommender and Robin from Breaking More Waves were more discussing what connects an act with a?particular city, rather than having an outright debate. Both came to the conclusion that most tend to link themselves with whichever town they reside in at that time or has a good scene or rich musical?heritage. Relating to a particular place doesn’t mean much anymore as you’re right, the internet has bridged this gap and it’s rare to get lots of similar sounding artists in the same place.??Roberta: We’re a Chichester chap and a Southsea lady in a Brighton band. Lyrically though, perhaps the map?pins are everywhere…

And there you have it, they’re a Brighton band after all! Thank god we settled that one. Maybe the band aren’t convinced a new industrial revolution, of the musical kind, is coming to our shores any time soon. But regardless, it’s great to hear those sounds coming back and being used in such a striking way. And hopefully pushing the genre forwards too. For now, I recommend you head over to their blog and check out their recent tracks and go see them at their next show. You can even dress up like Gary Numan if you so wish. Let the resurgence commence.