b. Robert Tubb, Chichester, West Sussex, England. ‘The name Cursor Miner is because I want to unearth new sounds from the information rock face, ’ Tubb explained in Flux magazine, of his music making alter ego, ‘I’m using a cursor as the drill.’ He has released music on the Unbearable, Uncharted Audio and Lo Recordings labels as well as contributing to Noodles’ The Complete Death Of Cool compilation, a neologistic collection intended as an outright rejection of expected notions of cool.
The (laptop) musician has admitted an infatuation with Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ and on his 2002 debut Explosive Piece Of Mind juxtaposed such 80s-inspired synth-pop with psychedelia, rock and hardcore digitalia. Alternately dystopian and utopian, Explosive Piece Of Mind drew comparison to Beck, Visage, the Human League and even Syd Barrett. Tubb claims his deliberately drab, curiously English vocal style - often compared to Barrett - is a consequence of having to sing quietly to circumvent complaints from his neighbours. On ‘Remote Control’, he eulogized labour saving devices for closing curtains, locking doors, repeating videos, checking the contents of your fridge and ordering chocolate eclairs from a reclining position. Other tracks simply sounded as if such technology was running amok. ‘Bodily Functions’ coalesced digital farts and squelches and spurts into bizarre, dysfunctional electro pop. ‘Like DNA’ found a curious midpoint between the Aphex Twin and Madness. The author of lines like ‘Wrapping tongue motionless lasagne/Bulging and celibate they gleam/Humidify your horny gremlins/Gash tanker hamstring never been’ (‘Never Been Seen’) has professed that he would like his lyrics to be ‘some kind of communication from your inner mind’. Perversely, however, Tubb also admits he likes his words to be both ‘abstract and meaningless’. Explosive Piece Of Mind was judged by The Wire magazine to be ‘Essentially a diagnosis of the cumulative symptoms of media overload.’ Tubb, asserted the magazine, sounded as if he was speaking from experience.
Tubb went on to record two more albums for the Lo label that pursued the same dark electronic vibe as his debut. The unhinged majesty of ‘Me And My Clone’ (from 2005’s Plays God) made the Syd Barrett references explicit. The same album’s ‘The Sport Of Kings’ was a more straightforward electro pop tune and pointed the way towards 2007’s Danceflaw, on which the artist ironed out some of his wilder tendencies to create a seamless dance classic. Tubb is also a noted remixer, enjoying club success in 2005 with his mix of Temposhark’s ‘Little White Lie’.