Tuesday 26 March 2013

Curxes - Further Still

This week is huge for fans of electronic pop music. Depeche Mode released their new album Delta Machine, which whilst not achieving the greatness of the likes of Black Celebration or Violator is a vast improvement over previous effort Sound of the Universe. La Roux returns to the fray with a small number of low-key trial-run shows for album number 2 (we’ll be at her Brighton gig – keep an eye out on twitter for our thoughts about that) and one of our Ones to Watch 2013 Chvrches release their brain tingling loin moistening Recover EP. Finally cult-blitz-popsters Curxes (another of our Ones To Watch 2013, who in their early days were compared to Depeche Mode with a female vocalist) release a new free to download single. Is this all some carefully constructed plan by the synth gang to wrestle the crown away from the ‘guitar music is back’ brigade or merely coincidence? Frankly we don’t care. That old cliché that we like any music as long as it’s good holds true and this new material by Curxes is indeed rather tremendous.

Curxes have been described as dramatic, intense and as the sound of two robots fucking (oh hold on, we said that one) after bombarding our senses with the 2012 sister singles Haunted Gold and Spectre. So it’s pretty easy to assume we’ve all got Curxes sussed; that they’re that loud post-industrial-electro-pop group with a whacked up bad-ass bass who treat everything like a hammer to a nail and then some.

Yet those assumptions and conclusions are just the windows that we see from and Curxes aren’t looking at the same view. In fact they’re not even in the same building. There have been subtle hints of this; from the duo’s version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas that premiered on Breaking More Waves at the start of December (racking up 15,000 plays on Soundcloud in just over 4 weeks) to some new songs that they’ve been gradually sneaking into their live set, one of which is Further Still.

It’s a track that has more in similarity with Bat For Lashes and the quieter moments of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s than it does their usual reference points. Written at a time when, for a while, lead singer Roberta Fidora lost part of herself after the break-up of a relationship, it shows that even the coldest of robots have a heart. It’s soft, tender and beautifully sung; the first time that in recorded form Fidora has really shown what a well formed pair of lungs she has. Apparently this is a woman who recently scored 99% in a high level signing exam and was narked that she didn’t get 100. On that basis one day we fully expect a Curxes opera. But for now we’ll stick with their breed of anti-pop; because Further Still isn’t some quick throwaway thrill, it’s not a quick tongue down the throat, knickers off, thank you very much, see you later. It’s subtler and deeper than that. It succeeds because of its restraint; even when the song sounds like it might attempt to explode it holds back.

Don’t expect everything that Curxes do in the future to be the sound of soft footsteps tripping lightly across dusted undertakers floors though, there’s still a fiery heart there as well. It’s part of their yin and yang make-up that made us love them in the first place; that mix of anger and emotional beauty.  Want an example of the other side? Check out their official ‘1996 remix’ of Chvrches Recover which can be found on the Scottish band’s EP. It’s a pure piece of pummelling laser rave synth aggression of the highest order. It will f*ck with your ears. For the future we hear gossip about the sound of a saxophone squealing like a pig being bum-fucked and a band going batshit mental in a Nordic battlefield, which is probably something you don’t get to hear every day. Curxes are most certainly not one of those bands who are compromising what they do for commercial success.

Further Still is free to download now and when they reach the limit on Soundcloud, you can grab it from the bands website. The Chvrches Recover EP is available from the usual digital stores to purchase now. Not only is it a good week for electronic music, but a good day for bad spelling.

Curxes - Further Still

Chvrches - Recover (Curxes 1996 Remix)

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