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Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Band Alternative Pop


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"A Decorative Set Of Bones - Curxes"

The Electricity Club welcomes CURXES into the line-up for its first live event TEC001 which will take place on SUNDAY 30TH OCTOBER 2011 at The Bowery in Central London. As one of the most promising new acts in the UK, their sound fits perfectly with The Electricity Club’s mandate to feature the best in new and classic electronic pop. The blog Fairly Coherent said: “Move over AUSTRA because the good looking duo that is CURXES is storming your hold on dark electro-indie music. For my money, CURXES does everything better.”

CURXES are Brighton based duo Roberta Fidora and Macaulay Hopwood, former members of the more indie HOLD FAST who in their day shared stages with WHITE LIES, CHEW LIPS and PULLED APART BY HORSES. Their thoughtful presentation stands hand-in-hand with their dark pop structures. If HURTS are sartorially aligned to the European fashion aesthetics of 30s and MIRRORS look to the 50s, then CURXES fit nicely in between with a stylish, nostalgic ration book chic.

Their homage to the Replicant love of Blade Runner entitled Creatures takes a tremendous neo-Neubauten journey via DEPECHE MODE’s People Are People and Strangelove with Fidora’s powerful, emotive voice coming out to the fore. The excellent Jaws though is more frantic. Influenced by the 1987 film The Lost Boys, it’s a track dating back to their HOLD FAST days and ably assisted by Hopwood’s scaling six string riffs a la John McGeoch and Robert Smith. Capturing the tension of the classic World In Action opening theme, its clusters of gothic aggression reveal CURXES’ sonic potential. That can be summed up by new number Once Upon A Time which is an exciting fusion of all those styles plus a slice of KRAFTWERK thrown in. With studio wizard Mr Q as their Tonmeister, its rhythm section consists of a white van, a biro and several other household items!

The brilliant debut single The Constructor is gritty mutant syncopation fronted by Fidora in the manner of a synth friendly SIOUXSIE SIOUX. Synthetic choirs and strings hold together over squelchy bass to conjure up auras of times gone by. Despite this, it all feels utterly contemporary. The hauntingly sparse Spires sees Fidora enter THIS MORTAL COIL accompanied by Hopwood’s COCTEAU TWINS-like textures and some deep bass drones in the manner of JAPAN’s Ghosts.

Describing themselves as “a decorative set of bones, channeling the ghosts of discothèques past”, CURXES’ music is a fine example of dramatic Eurocentric overtures seasoned with the sort of echoing guitar that will please synthpop fans who also happen to like THE CURE and SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES. Now taking their stark theatrics out on the road, CURXES are perhaps what the latter’s 1991 Superstition album might have sounded like had there been more intensity and urgency on the table. - The Electricity Club

"Spindle Interview"

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. - Spindle Magazine

"Track of the Day - Curxes "Creatures""

We actively tried to NOT go to Reading Festival this year. Setting aside the fact we have been going for the last 11 consecutive years to a festival commonly associated with GCSE and/or A-Level finishers (boy oh boy did we rinse those first three four sessions), like most 20-somethings-going-prematurely-grey in this Sugar-certified tough economic climate, money is far too tight to mention. Also, we fundamentally disagree with the idea that this particular brand of event has had its ticket prices skyrocket since we first started attending, despite record-high levels of sponsorship and money changing hands (yeah, we know, band fees have increased. Maybe stop booking bands who charge an arm and a leg for a show that, quite frankly, has been rinsed during their own shelf-life? We dunno…). However, when one of our music manager mateys turned around and said, “wanna come?”, we gave it the proverbial thumbs-up like the dude who so aptly described PG Tips as two-thumbs fresh. So yeah, look the hell out, we’re comin’ for ya. Moving swiftly away from this notion of nostalgic restrospectiveness – that is to say, out with the old, in with the new – Brighton’s Curxes (pronounced “Curses”, which is the cool way of using the letter “x”) have been throwing some serious shapes our way with their new noise in the form of Creatures. Kicking off proceedings with a monster-sounding/pounding drum beat, ethereal and haunting vocals creep in like a deadly wasp through the office window. This is a serious and deadly combination of Depeche style synths (a firm nod to our boys in the band [Strangers] on the more-recent end of the scale) with the freshest crop of ambient duos to step in to the light, along the lines of Paper Crows and Alpines. Buzzy momentum is building nicely for these dudes, with confirmed shows at Southsea Festival next month (also featuring our other boys in the other band Worship), followed by a London stint at The Bowery on 30th October. We’ll be down for em, be sure of that. - Killing Moon Ltd

"Curxes - New Waves"

The word curses immediately evokes sinister images of evil doom and foul-mouthed despair, but the X in the middle of this Brighton based male-female electronic duo’s name adds the symbolism of a kiss. Maybe it signifies something more affectionate and possibly sexual? If it does then Curxes have chosen their name perfectly. For their music has a touch of synthy nu-goth heaviness together with a lighter seductive embrace. Curxes sound is a mixture of the darkness of post-Vince Clarke Depeche Mode, the industrial ice-cool of Propaganda, vocals reminiscent of a smoother Siouxsie Sioux all carpeted with fluidly uplifting pulses. Their blend of pop-noir takes you to the more intriguing and exciting corners of the disco where mysterious illicit couples writhe together. It’s a place you really should visit.

Of course the name could be nothing more than a simple attempt to ensure that Curxes are easy to google (they are), unlike the band they have risen phoenix-like from. In a previous incarnation Curxes, who are Roberta and Macaulay respectively, were in a four piece called Holdfast who supported the likes of White Lies, Chew Lips, These New Puritans and The Joy Formidable before disbanding.
For now there are just two songs. One of these - The Constructor - is streaming below. The other – Spires - can be found on the bands Soundcloud. Curxes have yet to play live but as their website says “Coming soon.” We will be keeping a careful eye out. - Breaking More Waves

"The Recommender - Introducing Curxes"

As we’ve recently mentioned on previous posts here on The Recommender, Brighton is definitely enjoying something of a buzz spotlight as a multitude of exceptional bands have appeared from this city throughout 2011. Today we bring you the next in line for our attention, a new duo called Curxes (pronounced Curses). The thing is, whilst we are more than happy to claim them as our own, it’s thrown up a debate about what constitutes the linking of a city with a band.

Is the issue of a band’s geography even relevant? Perhaps not in today’s online global community, with it’s shrinking boundaries and borders, however there’s no denying that Liverpool in the 60s, London in the late 70s, or Manchester in the late 80s, among others throughout the decades, has helped to inseparably tie artists to their homes over the years. The Recommender recently claimed Fear Of Men for Brighton, only to be informed that most of the band live in London, with only one member actually calling Brighton home. When we met up for lunch with Curxes delectable manager, Bee Adamic, last week, she introduced us to one half of the duo, Macaulay Hopwood. He let slip that he is currently the only one out of the pair to actually live in Brighton, with singer, Roberta Fidora, calling Portsmouth home.

We’ve selected to ignore that fact and still attribute them to Brighton, as we’re buggered if we’re letting this local claim for the duo also evaporate as, unlike Fear Of Men, at least 50% of the band reside in this city – that’s enough for us! Robin from Breaking More Waves, who was among the first to bring the band to the blogoshpere’s attention in May, as well as being the first to take them onto his BBC 6Music appearance, may object to our claim, seeing as he calls Portsmouth home, but let’s see what his response is in the comments – assuming he’ll speak up once he reads this.

The reason behind our drive to keep the pair so close to our hearts is due to their music, which is so utterly astonishing that we’re happy to throw as much blog weight behind them as we can possibly muster. The extraordinary vocals from Roberta and the punchy synth-driven productions from Macaulay knock you out with the first blow, which is best evidenced with their tune, Creatures, which got a release in June. It’s inventive kitchen-sink beat and 80s-drenched synthetics blend a cranking, machine-like pop tune behind Roberta’s styled, confident, smooth vocals. If you thought the likes of Alpines, Ms Mr, or Paper Crows were delivering strong contemporary female vocals, then prepare yourself for Roberta as she stands toe to toe with them all.

Their debut release, Jaws, which arrived in March hands out Roberta front and centre, bringing to mind the gothic drama of Siouxsie Sioux, but it’s noisy, racing construction eventually starts to grind, missing the obvious beauty they’ve clearly been able to show off since. This evolution is more in evidence in the beat-less Spires, which allows Roberta to star throughout. We consider the earlier track, The Construction, to also be one of their best cocktails available to date, mixing silk with spike in another exciting but deadly pop tune.

The Recommender has had the good fortune to be handed their latest recording as an exclusive. Once Upon A Time continues their work’s unfolding fairytale, with their signature foreboding menace that juxtaposes the industrial with the theatrical to brilliant effect. We can’t wait to hear it live, which we can when they visit the perfectly suited aesthetic of the Brighton venue, The Green Door Store, which is scheduled for October 26th. Whether that gig or their upcoming appearance at the Southsea Festival, in Portsmouth on September 17th, can be called a homecoming show is up for debate, but with music this strong we’re confident that a home in your heart is more assured. (MB) - The Recommender


Still working on that hot first release.



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