Photo by Daniel Peace. Curses, real name Luca Venezia (fka Drop the Lime), specializes in traversing the dark and moodier corners of the dancefloor. Having recently relocated from his home of New York to Berlin, the DJ and producer continues to push his slick, romanticized sound via his own productions and the efforts of his label Safer At Night. The year 2007 was a different time, though—back then, Curses' sound thrived more on guitar licks, B-horror film samples, EBM, and slowed down disco, evident on his production "The Deep End." Released on the now defunct label Institubes, the track received a notable dub from DFA duo Holy Ghost! and LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang, whose glistening version fit nicely into the nu-disco craze that was sweeping the music industry at the time. Now, nearly a decade after the release of the track, Curses is reissuing a new version of the production as part of Safer At Night's inaugural vinyl-only release. Limited to 300 copies, the new EP comes along with a "2017 Redux" of the original track, the initial aforementioned dub, as well as an entirely new cut entitled "In Shadow," which has also been remixed by Ian Blevins.
In celebration of the nostalgic release, Curses offered to record a new DJ mix, dubbed "The Deep(er) Mix," which shines a light on the sound he toyed with earlier in the millennia. He also was nice enough to as answer some questions about the new package, vampire movies, and his expansive caree. Check it all out below.THUMP: You're career has evolved a lot since the Drop the Lime days, as well as since when you first wrote "The Deep End." What advice would you give to your former self if you had a chance to travel back in time or appear as one of those holograms from Star Wars?
Curses: I am easily enticed by the new and unknown. I always want to know the new and unknown when it comes to music, but that can sometimes be somewhat distracting. Only since reviving Curses have I finally discovered a sound that feels natural. So, I would tell my young and goofball self, "f**ks with the force and stick to your guns. Don't get side tracked."
What initially drew you to horror movie soundtracks and EBM back then, and how did that influence this project?
As a kid in the 80s, B-movies were always playing late at night on TV, and I'd fall asleep to them. I have vivid memories watching them in and out of dreaming. The haunting aesthetic and eerie synth heavy soundtracks had a young impact on me. My babysitter was a big Front 242 and Cabaret Voltaire fan, so I was exposed to these big snares and metallic drums before I was 13. "The Deep End" channels all of these childhood memories to the dancefloor.
What are some of your favorite B horror movies, as well as soundtracks?
The Hunger, with David Bowie is an absolute timeless New Wave vampire classic. Cronenberg's Videodrome, and all of the early John Carpenter films and soundtracks are hits in my book.
You recently moved to Berlin, for the second time—tell me a bit about how life's been going there so far. What do you love? What do you hate? Why is it a good place to be an artist right now?
The first time was 10 years ago; that was a very different Berlin. I was way too young and still figuring my life out. I don't see myself leaving now. Berlin fulfills the challenge and inspiration I personally eventually lacked in NYC. I will always wear NYC on my sleeve though. After being born and raised in Manhattan it's a hard city to shake away, but Berlin is a financially realistic city for an artist; you can focus on your craft and not compromise your art to pay rent and bills.
What have been some of the hardest, as well as most enlightening, aspects of running Safer At Night, as well as just a label in general in 2016? What can you tell us about the next year for the crew?
Discovering new artists has been the most enlightening thing with Safer At Night. But, now that we are pressing vinyl, we have become extremely picky with what we release. It's really hard to say no to artists we admire and respect, but we also won't release someone we haven't had a big night out with and clicked first. Building a strong family of friends within the crew is crucial to a healthy label and party. We've got a lot planned in 2017. Lawrence Lee has moved to Berlin as well now, so were doing a lot of events in Europe and UK. We have also each launched our own vinyl only imprints under SAN. OMBRA INTL is the one I will be putting time into next year, releasing 4 track EP's with each artist representing a different country, focusing the sound on synth heavy, post punk and trippy disco vibes.
Finally, tell us about this mix you made for us. How do you imagine us listening to it and what emotions do you suspect it will trigger?
I like to tell stories with DJ mixes, and with this particular one, I wanted to share the progression of where "The Deep End" spawned in 2007. I included some early New Wave and EBM favorites to some of my current favorite slo-mo, synth and cold wave things. If you listen carefully I've got a lot of samples from various oddball B movies in the mix, from haunted hounds howling to psycho prank callers. Get trippy, get lost in it and boooooooogie!
Kieran Holden - The Science of Plants (Peza Remix)
Cabaret Voltaire - Thank You America
Kasper Bjorke - Klint (Multi Culti Pitched Down Dub)
La Dame Noir - DARK_SLICE
Blackway - Follow Me
Armonics - Human
Curses - Together In The Dark (Vocal)
Lord Of The Isles - Offline
Chris & Cosey - Talk to Me
Alessandro Parisi - The Fall Of Draconia
Martin Rev - Asia
Uriah Klapter - Cave
DKMD - Sacrificio
GHOST COP - TRUE NAME (Curses Remix)
Pin Up Club - Children Of The Void
James Rod - Cosmic Japan
K-Effect - Walking On Mars (Original Mix)
FRONT 242 - Funkahdafi
Goblin - Danza
Rahsun - Love Is Blind (Touch & Feel Dub)
Curses - SANWAX 001 A1) The Deep End 2017 Redux
Curses - The Deep End Feat. Maggie Horn (2007 Original Demo Mix)