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Curve – Unreadable Communications (The Anxious Recordings 1991-1993)

Few bands typified the early 90’s shoegaze scene more than Curve. This new box set collection from Cherry Red Records, is a worthy addition to any record collection of fans of early 90s indie.

Formed in 1990, the London duo of Toni Halliday (vocals, occasionally guitar) and Dean Garcia (bass, guitar, drums, programming), were regular visitors to the UK Top 40 during 1991/2 with 5 entries, the most successful of being Fait Accompli which reached No.22. Their blend of heavy beats and densely layered guitar tracks set against Halliday’s vocals, were shaped in part by producer Alan Moulder, who had a prominent part to play in the genre, also producing Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver and Lush early recordings.

It’s no coincidence that the pair ended up together on Dave Stewart’s (Eurythmics) Anxious Records label. Stewart introduced Garcia to Halliday after reading an interview where she’d praised his previous band, The Tourists. Garcia had played bass guitar as part of Eurythmics’ live band in 1983–84 and on two of their studio albums, while Halliday was signed to Stewart’s Anxious Records label as a solo artist.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though! The pair formed an ill-fated group named State of Play in the mid-1980s before parting ways, embarking on a no less ill-fated solo career (Halliday) and further stints as a backing musician (Garcia), and then reuniting for a more long-term partnership in Curve. In total the band released 5 studio albums, 2 on Anxious before disbanding in 1994 and 3 for other labels when they reformed in 1996, but they never repeated their earlier success failing to dent the Top 100 album chart with each.

This collection brings together for the first time, all their recorded output on Anxious Records. Their first 2 albums Doppleganger and Cuckoo plus all the tracks from their early EPs, which had been previously released on 1992’s Pubic Fruit compilation. The 4th disc has a collection of live and remixed tracks, including treatments by Aphex Twin on Falling Free.

The whole set has been produced with contributions from both Garcia and Halliday, with sleeve notes from Lois Wilson. Their influence can not be understated, and their lineage can be seen in bands like Garbage.

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About The Author

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Andi Callen (Contributing Editor)

Original punk. Done everything there is to do in music, except run a record label! Addicted to noise and taking photographs of live music. Based on NW England, I've previously contributed to Louder Than War, MancAndi, The Punk Site, and Backseat Mafia, where I was Punk/Post Punk & Live Editor. Part of the original review team when Rocksound Magazine first started.
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