Softsynth Flavour of the Month – Curxes

We don’t “champion” a lot of bands but one can safely rest assured we shall be Curxes. This UK duo is one of the most exciting new electronic bands to come along in many, many moons. At a time when so many of our old standbys have been releasing disappointing work it’s so exhilarating, so oddly, almost confoundingly reassuring to hear a band like this stumble into our lives. Some months ago we heard “The Constructor” which we liked but caught amidst a wash of new music at the time it was rather forgotten. Flash forward to the single “Creatures/Jaws” and we were suddenly smitten. We dusted off the older song and heard the beauty therein. Add in the lush, gorgeous “Spires” and they are batting 1000 for recorded work. After weathering comparisons to the likes of Depeche Mode it’s important to note how original this band actually are. While “Jaws” almost recalls a post-punk Joy Devisiony sound, their other tracks-to-date defy easy comparison beyond an effect here or a choral note there. They are wholly something new unto themselves. And to boot, we can’t recall an electronic band that managed to sound so “organic”. They’re not just good, they’re interesting and fucking exiting. Plus, how cool is that band name…?

We managed to catch up with the band members Roberta Fidora and Macaulay Hopwood to throw a few questions their way:

Softsynth: How did the two of you meet? Why electronic music, was this a shared passion or something you defaulted to?

Macaulay: Roberta asked me to join a post-punk band she was in and that was our first meeting. It was literally “we’re looking for a guitarist, you fit the bill and we’re supporting White Lies in a week”. Needless to say, I jumped in. Unfortunately this band came to a conclusion last year but we had discussed the possibility of doing an electronic side project before and this seemed like the right time to give it a go.

Roberta: I knew instinctively that Mac would be the right person to join after I saw what he was listening to. Sure enough, he turned up and played the guitar lines better than we’d written them…and brought another synthesizer to the troupe. The difficulty came when we attempted to take the previous band in a more electronic direction, as the suggestion wasn’t exactly welcomed. We brought a synth-based song to practice but it just didn’t work. Months later, the band split up and Mac convinced me that we should start over as a two-piece suite. We formed Curxes last year and the aforementioned track became “The Constructor”.

Softsynth: How would you describe your sound? It seems to defy easy categorization. It’s not synthpop, but it’s not all the way over to darkwave. You’ve carved out something startlingly original, do you have a name for what you do?

Macaulay: Defying easy categorisation is no easy feat so we’re flattered that you think so. I wish we could say that it was intentional but really it’s just a culmination of all our favourite artists and influences together.

Roberta: Choral pop? Noirwave? Microwave?

Macaulay: Let’s just say we are electronic pop…

Softsynth: Who are your influences? I hear a lot of different things in your sound that doesn’t lead to an obvious answer…

Macaulay: They vary a lot but tend to revolve around the synthpop pioneers from the ‘70s onwards; Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Erasure, The Human League, etc right through to more contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and The Knife. However we listen to a plethora of artists; personally my tastes are extremely varied and I’ll pull influences from any genre.

Roberta: Sylvia Plath, Philip K. Dick, Yevgeny Zamyatin, film soundtracks and photographs.

Softsynth: You have a very interesting aesthetic. Could your look be described as WWII-era simplicity, or is it something else altogether? Is this look something that will carry over some time like Client and their uniforms, or is this just a “this is what we like right now” kind of thing?

Macaulay: The WWII aesthetic was there from the band’s inception. It is a style we intend to keep but will most likely embellish on it as time goes on.

Roberta: Clothes from the 1940s have a shapeliness and elegance (not to mention a history) to them which is very unique and, for me, that era represents a phenomenal spirit, dignity and sense of unity that is often missing from the present day. I think we both feel a little displaced in modern times and perhaps that’s reflected in both our sound and aesthetic.

Softsynth: What’s next for you? When can we expect to see a full album?

Macaulay: At the moment we’re holding out for a full-length album but in the meantime we’re working on remixes for other artists and we’ll either put out an EP or continue to release singles.

Roberta: You’ll probably find us trawling scrapheaps for our next drum kit…

—-

So, two immediate takeaways – 1. Noirwave may be our favourite subgenre moniker to rear its head in recent memory and 2. We require an album. Singles, remixes – super, but an album is most required. There will be none of this waiting around business. It’s been killing us waiting for Vile Electrodes to get it together to put their genius into album form, we are not emotionally ready to do the same for a proper set of recordings by this clever pair. After these terrific teasers a long wait is simply not on.

As it is, this blogger cannot more highly recommend that you get your hands on their songs-to-date. These folks could take their act far. They have already, with just a few recordings, become a jewel in the electronic crown. Just how many more jewels await…?

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3 Responses to “Softsynth Flavour of the Month – Curxes”

  1. Subscribed for a while.
    Always a treat to find new music.
    Would love a few links to the artists, but easy to Google.
    Great to find CURXES on Soundclound.
    Enjoy your work.
    Cheers.

  2. Excellent interview and commentary!

  3. […] to grills now and we’ve done our first round of interviews with The Electricity Club, Softsynth and in Portsmouth publication, The Guide (as modelled […]

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