Review: Curxs – Obra Abstracta Académica (self-released, Sep 12)

I’m really not at all sure what is going on in Obra Abstracta Académica (which translates to “abstract academic work”). The short release appears to be a compilation of both live and studio performances, though it’s difficult to discern where and how each was recorded because this uncultured loser is unable to read absolutely any Spanish. The enigmatic moniker Curxs seems to be the creative alias of Camilo C. Cárdenas, who on Obra Abstracta Académica employs the talents of several other artists to perform an eclectic variety of liminal electronic music. Most of the tracks are quite short, which leads to the album becoming a sort of delirious collage of ideas, from the slightly occult folkisms of “Intento comunicacional nº1” (“communication attempt”) to the futuristic mechanical bubblings of “Almóh Addháa” (the latter of which blurs the line between audience and performer as the applause seems to becomes assimilated into the piece). As we progress through the studio tracks the elevated level of fidelity allows Curxs’ ambitious compositions to adopt an even more formidable and confusing presence, uncoiling strands of synthetic electronica, quirky vocal abstractions, field recording intervention, and dizzying percussion. It’s a short but almost overwhelmingly varied collection, but presiding over it all is a strangely comforting spectral atmosphere (undoubtedly helped along by the cover art).