We’ve teamed up with our buddies at Chronic Youth to curate SXSW’s premier dark music showcase, Ov Curse. Aimed at capturing the new renaissance of dark music, Ov Curse is poised to coalesce the disparate strains of this movement for the first time under one roof.
Hosted by Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham, Ov Curse gathers an eclectic mix of talent from the likes the Grace Jones meets Snowy Red of Light Asylum to club kings Jokers of the Scene performing a dark and throbbing set through to buzzing left coast Goth’s Blessure Grave to create one of the festival’s most unique can’t miss experiences.
In conjunction with all of this madness, we’ve commissioned Star Eyes and Dust La Rock to put together a most sinister of mixes. 5o+ minutes of dark and throbbing tracks that span the gamut from EBM and Industrial that are sure to get people dancing from the dance floor to the graveyard.
Leading up to the event on Thursday, March 18th we will be doing blog posts highlight each and every one of the 13 acts performing across two stages at Club 1808 in Austin, Texas. The show is FREE and all ages. Head after the break to get a little more familiar with each of the acts performing on the two stages at this monumental showcase!
Thursday, March 18th, 8pm-2am
All Ages, Free!
On the Outdoor Stage…
8:00 pm: King Dude
The new project from T.J. Cowgill, lead singer of US Northwest Black Metal favorites, Book of Black Earth. Cowgill strips down to his voice and acoustic guitar and channels some dark and haunting neo-folk with a heavy focus on knowledge and faith. Luciferian light and spirituality beyond the confines of a strict monotheistic reasoning. Dark and Haunting stuff.
Seattle’s King Dude bka TJ Cowgill, the man behind Actual Pain, sounds like a really sarcastic band name. Like, “Alright King DUDE, we’ll go where you want to go for dinner.” But his music is so sincere—singing in a distant baritone, he sounds like he lost something really important. - The Fader
8:40 pm: Awen
Houston’s Awen truly bring the apocalypse to Apocalyptic-Folk. Beautifully dark compositions accompanied by deep vocals – songs of life, history, and blood! Their sound is inspired by ancestral entities and archetypal imagery. The bonds of blood are never broken. You are your ancestor. This blood mysticism is the crux of the work. In order to represent this ideology we have chosen to describe the project’s sound as Ancestral Ambient
Awen’s live performance requires a police permit. Seriously. For their song “Needful Death”, blank rounds fired from real revolvers supplement the drums. In the narrow confines of Avant Garden (it was still Helios then), the fire and gunsmoke made for quite an effect. O’Sullivan tells me that his latest compositions use an instrument made of a contact microphone, a wire brush and an antique human skull. Anyone else would be content with a plastic skull from the Spirit store, but not Awen. - Houston Press
9:20 pm: My Gold Mask
Lush with references to the era of Kate Bush and Siouxsie and the Banshees, My Gold Mask pound, shake, wail and thrash through midnight melodies laced with rock noir. Vocalist Gretta Rochelle is never afraid to deviate from a chamber pop formula, breaking the icy blackness of instrumentalist Jack Armondo’s backing with a sleazy art school sneer and a dash of avant-garde.
…A Delicate balance between 90′s alternative rock gestures and futuristic gypsy tribe shit. But the real magic happens with the versatility of Gretta Rochelle’s vocals – mostly soaring but she’s not afraid to trash it up and sound total gutter. - The Big Stereo
10:00 pm: Hussle Club
The solo project of Prince Terrence who is probably best known as the drummer for the likes of Santigold, Spank Rock and Heartsrevolution. Hussle Club mixes different sounds that range from pop, new wave and even the late 70s/early 80s no wave movement which they lace all together with stories of the trials and tribulations of urban life.
The eerie musical styling of Hussle Club’s dark punk and no wave songs are undefinable and fresh. They perfectly echo the streets and the trials and tribulations of the present generation. - RCRDLBL
10:40 pm: These Are Powers
Consisting of energetic frontwoman/guitarist Anna Barie, bassist Pat Noecker, and drummer Bill Salas, Brooklyn noise dance trio These Are Powers blend eerie and ramshackle sounds with grimey dancefloor beats. Sometimes moaning, other times shrieking, Barie’s antics of rolling and writhing in the crowd at TAP’s live shows are not to be missed.
Teeth-grittingly tense and with chilling atmosphere, they play the appropriate soundtrack for a bombed-out, water-damaged Brooklyn basement with one bulb for light. - Pitchfork
11:20 pm: Light Asylum
Shannon Funchess and Bruno Coviello are Williamsburg Brooklyn’s answer to the reemergence of new romantics. Like their predecessors, they have a penchant for walking on the dark side while carrying the torch to new dawns of rapturous, post-punk, new wave and industrial sounds. Light Asylum is a musical echoing from the past reverberating against mans foreshadowing, apocalyptic plight, to destroy what light is still being held up high to guide us all inward and homeward. As a beacon is to sailors lost to a battle with the sea, beats, synths and vocals come in waves leading listener ashore in the darkest of nights.
In a few short months, Light Asylum—aka Shannon Funchess and Bruno Coviello, have become the latest buzz out of Brooklyn. Funchess—a unique vocal talent whose past contributions range from tours with !!! to performances and recordings with Telepathe and TV on the Radio—is finally setting forth on her own musical journey in dark, romantic dance music. In other words, goth is kind of having a Grace Jones moment. - Hint Mag
12:00 pm: //TENSE//
Frustrated with the direction electronic music was headed, one man decided to create the sound he so badly craved. So, in the Winter of 2006 he bought some machines, learned to program them, and stole his girlfriends computer to record the ensuing beats. //TENSE// was born with dreams of resurrecting the forgotten WaxTrax! sound and has been producing the hard beats in his hometown of Houston TX for 3 years. If you listen closely you can hear the heat and humidity taking hold of the machines, slowly infecting the circuits and dragging their corpses to the dance floor. The //TENSE// live machine is augmented by MKF Kunst on the e-drums and Jake Five from Denton TX on synths. Keep your memories alive, but move into the future…
This is music for strutting not stabbing…The waves of simple synths and surging levels of drum machines leave you giddy, vaguely disorientated and lost within the repetition. - 20 Jazz Funk Greats
1:00 am: Blessure Grave
Since September of 2008 Reyna Kay, T Grave and a revolving cast of bass players and drummers have played scarce amounts of shows usually going down in spurts. But on a recording level they’ve achieved some sort of poor man’s prolific reputation with numerous vinyl releases and a cassette, combining elements of the goth, post punk and neo folk but recorded in some kult black metal band’s dungeon for maximum fog at dusk fidelity. Citing Killing Joke, Death in June, March Violets and the Cure as influences, Blessure Grave injects a pop sensibility into songs otherwise doomed to dreariness, creating an interesting mix on old and new but dark all around. Joined by Jacob Turnbloom, Sean Lotte and Nick Friesen, the duo finds itself pulling away from the lofi trend of recent months into something all their own. Out of the bedroom and into the night.
It’s hard to imagine these guys even wanting to get out of bed, let alone make music. Luckily for you lot, make music they do and for this we should be grateful as they exist in a space where darkness flirts with the traditional pop song, yielding amazingly engaging results. - Vice
On the Indoor Stage…
9:00 pm: Drunkdriver
Drunkdriver is probably the audio equivalent of staring into the headlights of an 18 wheeler that is half a second away from scattering you around for miles. They play the angriest heaviest and most distorted Hardcore Punk you’ll possibly ever hear.
Local sludgemos Drunkdriver make bleak, desolate blasts of nu-pigfuck that hearken back to the days of Jesus Lizard. - The Village Voice
9:40 pm: Cairo Pythian
Sunk in a maze of questionable deeds, Cairo Pythian promises to reserve your path to the darkest edge of a nefarious night. When the day breaks expect the guilt of indulgence and an uncanny urge for the eve to rear again.
Part of a goth/coldwave scene out of the Pacific Northwest, artist Cairo Pythian makes a shocking debut with what the press materials allude to as “lucid assfucking.” C.P. hails from Olympia, WA, and there’s a bit of a Sex/Vid connection via Dave Harvey playing guitar and Capt. Trips producing these sessions, but the two bands are in no other way alike. Perhaps in mood, but certainly not in method – any of the four S&M/quickdeath-for-kicks anthems on this release wouldn’t have sounded out of place on either of the Wierd Records compilations (well, maybe the wah-wah lead guitar on “Magus” might have placed it out of the running), sequenced for maximum slink and in the Gary Numan fanclub 4 LYFE. 500 copies, disturbing cover art that you won’t want to look at, kinda looks like velvet-n-leather guy in your town caught in the act at the wing buffet. Allegedly released by an anonymous arts guild out of Oslo, Norway. The plot thickens. - Still Single
10:20 pm: Hours of Worship
Brooklyn’s Hours of Worship are known for their dark and menacing dancefloor soundscapes but their multitude of killer remixes. The dark duo are prepared to get the Ov Curse crowd in Austin dancing in their deep, dark spell. Draw the circle on the floor and bust out some candles, the Hour of Worship is upon us.
The kids in Hours of Worship infiltrate the catacombs of a secret society of name unknown and unpronounceable even if you found it out and if you did then they’d have to kill you, at the bottom of the primeval gutter they stumble upon masqueraded figures dancing to some vicious hybrid of filtered euro-techno clamors and spaced out bleeping, this inspires them to make some music which when unleashed upon the world create fiery backlash from Christians frothing about how mixing Goblin and Green Velvet is sinful, scenes of gnarly Blade-style disco bloodshed ensue and everyone is purified.” - 20 Jazz Funk Greats
11:00 pm: Jokers of The Scene (Special Dark DJ set)
Jokers Of The Scene have been one of the main causes of global warming for the past 7 years, creating a heat wave of low end frequencies and dark driving bass lines. JOTS have always been pushing the barriers of sound with their own personal productions maintaining a unique sound and esthetic to their DJ sets, playing forwards into the future sounds of electronic music and in the minds of Fools Gold Records followers. They have always held the techno flag up high for Canada, from their phenomenal Disorganized parties to their first mixes, JOTS have always been and will be a force to reckon with.
While Jokers of the Scene hail from Ottawa, this hour-plus mix features a more experimental approach similar to M.I.A. producer Switch. Most of all, they share a dedication to euphoric intensity that recalls (and at times directly references) early rave music, combined with an understanding and appreciation of hip-hop; no matter how utterly bonkers the often atonal, stuttering tracks become, they’re always funky. The cross-pollination of these traditionally black and white musical genres, hip-hop and techno, hasn’t been this exciting since the late 80s, when house music seemed to spawn a new offshoot every few minutes; now both seem to be entering a new creative era thanks to influences from the other. Mixes like this are inspirational, not only for their purely sonic thrills, but also for the underlying philosophy: the more race ceases to be a factor, the better. – Mother Jones | Riff Blog
12:00 pm: CREEP (Lauren Dillard DJ Set)
CREEP is the latest project by DJ/Producer Lauren Flax and Lauren Dillard that is taking NYC by storm with their syrupy dark take on shoegazey pop. They are currently working on their debut album armed to the gills with some really amazing singers over the girls dancefloor friendly beats.
World renown DJ Lauren Flax has unveiled her new project with co-conspirator Lauren Dillard, the haunting new duo Creep. Be sure to check out their first track “Output 1-2″ at myspace, as well as their sexy dark remix of Baghdaddy’s “Hot Shit”. – The Sky Report
12:45 pm: Star Eyes (DJ Set)
The first lady of bass and the originator of “haunted house”, Star Eyes has destroyed dance floors for over 15 years and helped found the world famous Trouble and Bass Crew. Star Eyes has long been a proponent of the darker side of the dance, putting together not only a special Ov Curse mix for this showcase (link way above), but her previous Industrial & EBM scorcher for us, 7H3 H4X0R M1X.
She plays raw, dirty bass bangers spanning the spectrum from electro-house to Baltimore club to UK bassline jams, and is equally likely to show up to the party in a panda hat or full-on goth attire. - M.I.S.S.
We really hope and look forward to seeing all of you out in Austin for this year’s SXSW festival. This will truly be like no showcase happening this year or before and we look forward to bringing some of the New York darkness that ourselves and Chronic Youth are known for to Texas.- My Pal the Crook