Austin based artist Curse Mackey is best known as lead singer and sample banger of industrial supergroup PIGFACE and tribal industrial act EVIL MOTHERS, and as a member of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Mackey has recently launched a solo electronic industrial/darkwave project that debuted at the COLD WAVES FESTIVAL 2016 in Chicago which includes new material and revamps of classic Pigface and Evil Mothers songs (including Spider Sex and Car Wrecks).


Curse's sound is a future forward homage to the surrealistic side of industrial music, with doom fueled drones, slithering synth pulsations and dirty-minded beats layered upon hypnotic noise manipulations, scream of conscious lyrical prose as well as classic Wax Trax-era industrial dance tonalities that evoke the ghosts of early Skinny Puppy,  Lustmord, Coil, and the iconic projects Mackey has been a part of.  His participation in PIGFACE and other projects has led Mackey to collaborative opportunities with such luminaries as Ogre of Skinny Puppy, Martin Atkins of Ministry/Killing Joke, En Esch of KMFDM, Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV,  Danny Carey of Tool, Mat Mitchell of Puscifer and many more.  Curse has also just launched a new "electro-glam" project called AMOROUS which experienced a very successful Austin debut in August 2017.


For fans of dark glam/goth, experimental, industrial, electronic music this should be a tantalizing treat.








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Spontaneous compositions and re-imaginings,” Curse Mackey promises and while the phrase may sound pretentious out of context, his eager face gives the promise a weight that other men’s words lack.


He opens his set with a variation of 'Something Wicked This Way Please'. I find myself lost in the crashing, rolling noise and pulled towards the stage. I install myself to the left and could almost touch Curse if I stood on my tip toes. I feel the ebb and flow pulling at me and pushing me as if the sound were a physical thing that buffeted me on all sides. There is an unsettling undercurrent of anxiety–the last time I heard this overpowering, suffocating sound assault was just before some of the worst times of my life. The sensation carries me away and there’s a moment where I cannot breathe and think I may die under the relentless pounding that rolls off the stage.


It passes with a change in song and I take a deep breath and recenter myself.


I can pick out the refrain from 'Free Poison' scratching free amidst the smoke and sound. Onstage, Curse stands on a tarp that seems to have shoe black on it and behind a different rig than last time I saw him and he seems almost diminutive save for the sheer power that he wields. I imagine as I watch that he could create these sounds from force of will alone standing before us and erupting noise and light from the very center of himself. You will see nothing like the instinctual rebirth of sound that Curse Mackey creates. He is painting, each sound stroke changing the landscape and molding it to better suit his needs.


TKK material moves the crowd to lift hands, drinks, phones, voices. He is all showmanship though you are left with the feeling that he creates for himself out of whatever drives him not out of a need for your affection. I am drawn forward in time for 'Spider Sex and Car Wrecks'. We all scream the lyrics–or maybe it’s just me. It’s all I can hear or feel as it pounds into me and I scream reflecting the words back. “Maybe you should have drove instead.” He goes to the ground and encases himself in the tarp that he’s been standing on, moaning at us and pushing the lyrics into everyone’s ears. When it stops, it is almost as if a support has been taken away and I feel as if I’m falling into the silence.


Curse remembers my name and hugs me in a way that feels as genuine and warm as the first cup of hot cocoa in winter. This second authentic connection of the night makes me cry when he turns away and I flee for more vodka. - JB

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