Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When The Cure Went Electronic

While the world may know Robert Smith and his band of merry men as veritable Goth-rock icons, they have experimented with other styles, from the tentative jangle-pop of the early days to the enthusiastic synth-pop of the mid-1980s, with some spaced-out detours into jump-jazz, nursery-rhyme ditties and even woozy mariachi.

And from the mid-1990s onwards, The Cure started dabbling in various sub-genres of electronica, adding another dimension to their basic sonic blueprint. Here are some notable examples of the electronically inclined Cure:

A ferocious drum n' bass ditty featuring regular David Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels on his trademark modified guitar squalls, this is very much characteristic of the late-1990s jungle movement. It's still an interesting diversion into otherwise unknown territory for the band.

Originally written for "The X-Files" movie soundtrack, this slow-burning exercise in trip-hop is enriched by some ominous synth-string orchestrations and a suitably desperately gasping vocal from Smith.

This cover of a well-loved Depeche Mode single is a glorious Technicolor mess of mutated electro-pop and sample-centric big beat. Easily the most colourful single the band has ever done.

CUT HERE (2001)
A staid, almost by-the-numbers New Order-informed track that is redeemed somewhat by the interntionally retro synth chords and fizzy guitar grooves.


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