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Curses about the new album – and the lack of NY pizza in Berlin

By: Filip Sandström Beijer

Curses photo by Alicia Devaux
Curses. Photo: Alicia Devaux

The Pornceptual resident and producer Curses is dropping a brand new album for the first time in five years. 'Incarnadine' is now finally being brought into the universe and we want to know all about it.

Hi Luca! A new album is on it’s way from Curses, and we like what we’re hearing. Tell us about it!

Ciao, Playful!

It's been 5 years since the first album dropped, so between writing and Covid-related delays, been so ready for 'Incarnadine' to finally drop into the universe. While touring the first album live, me and my bandmate, Dame Bonnet wrote a lot of new music in rehearsals and on stage improvisations, and the majority of the new LP is the music we wrote while on the road. I read the book and revisited the 80's film, The Hunger, starring Catherine Deneuve and Bowie, and found a new attachment to the aura of the tale; the yearning for- and romance of, immortal love. I also collaborated with some of my favorite Berlin based artists as well, Jennifer Touch & Terr. Besides admiring their work, they're good friends, so the album as a whole is very personal one.

You’re from New York, now based in Berlin. What made you choose Berlin?

I will always call NYC my home, but I began to feel stuck in a monotony, and searched for a challenge creatively. I had lived in Berlin in 2005, and missed that feeling of having the freedom to be able to afford to make your craft without compromise or sacrifice, so in 2015 I returned and found like-minded people who understood what I was trying to express musically. In USA, the music I was making and playing wasn’t translating so well at the time. It all really clicked once I became a resident at Pornceptual, and found such an open minded judgement free space for performance, DJ:ing and dancing. I was able to finally play New Beat, Italo, EBM, and Electro without worrying if the mix of genres would confuse the floor.

The album is operated by Jennifer Cardini, tell us about your different roles in the collaboration.

When we first met, Jennifer had a big hand in really pushing me to embrace my "sound" and not worry about what was popular or hype at the time. We both come from different musical backgrounds, but also very similar. We both are ravers at heart and also goths who dance to Sisters of Mercy in the Kitchen while cooking some cacio e pepe. Specifically, we both have a strong love for the movie, The Hunger, so when I came with the 2nd LP idea and single, 'Miriam' to be an ode to this book and film, Jennifer really got behind it and understood the direction. There is a strong collaborative relationship, in selecting the final tracks ultimate tweaks and mixing elements. You build a trust with the label, letting them interpret and hear different details of your music you maybe didnt appreciate or realize when making it.

We’ve read in previous interviews that you’ve had an upbringing involving both opera and classical music, as well as sounds from the 80:s. Where do you get your sound influences from today?

Besides scowering bandcamp and digging through promos for the music I DJ, which is a mix of new and old, I really should listen to new music more often.

I have such a habit of primarily listening to old music. Especially from the 80s. In the beginning of the pandemic I was listening to the Radiooooo app a lot. You can select music to play at random from an archive of user uploaded tracks, and organize them by decade and geographical location. It's like the modern day record crate digger's dream for discovering some absolute gems. I found some amazing Turkish post-punk to Ukrainian synth wave and Vietnamese Italo. I love it.

As a New Yorker in Berlin, where do you get your slice of the Big Apple?

One of the things I miss the most is a proper NYC slice of pizza. When you ask "where do I get my slice of the big apple" my immediate reaction was .. "Pizza?" haha. Magic Johns is the winner, hands down. They are the only place in Berlin who's pepperoni does the curl-up when it crisps in the oven. I am still waiting for someone to serve a proper Bodega-style egg and cheese.. this is still missing. If anybody knows a spot, please let me know!

What’s the plans and expectations for 2022?

If all goes to plan covid-wise, we have a really nice string of live dates planned in EU/UK and Mexico.. and I'll return to S. America in May/June for DJ gigs as well.

The album's first single, 'Miriam' will also have a music video from close friend and amazing director, Jordan Hemingway as well as remixes from The KVB, Boys Noize and Kim Ann Foxman... super excited for these all to come.I have a lot of collaborations that happened during the last 2 years of pandemic limbo that will finally drop! I've got ravier side project called Venice Arms with a new EP out on permanent Vacation, as well as some vocals for Massi Pagliara, and an EP with Younger Than Me - for our Y2C hardwave project....some others a bit Shhhh for now.

Hoping 2022 is better than the last, and we are finally out of the pandemic and into a new paradise.


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