A new DAV!D&CLARA release is always a highly anticipated, and unpredictable, musical event. The duo (yes, duo. One may be a human, and the other a computer, but they operate like a duo) generally stay within the lines of melodic electro-industrial blends with DAV!D’s coolly detached, low register sexy vocals front and center, while CLARA sends thumping synth and acoustic guitar soundscapes in support of the vocals, but they are certainly not afraid to change it up or down from track to track. “The Art of Audio” has a harder electronic edge and a softer acoustic core blended into it, in a way that DAV!D&CLARA haven’t done before.
The rich, evocative, and sometimes moody melodies are still there, and the vocals are as fresh and expressive as ever, but there is an intensity and seriousness to the album that’s deeply compelling in places. “The Art of Audio” amps up the energy significantly on certain tracks, while others delve into slow-burning and darkly cinematic grandeur – a voyage through the labyrinthine depths of an inquisitive mind locked away somewhere in a room in a forgotten corner of the universe.
To put it mildly, “The Art of Audio” is not exactly your electronic party album. There are tracks that provide the necessary wattage to keep a dance floor pulsing—very few band’s sound as devastatingly visceral and loud as DAV!D&CLARA does blasting through massive club speakers. And this album offers two or three tracks straight from a DJ’s wet dream ready to be remixed and mashed into club specials. And I’m thinking specifically of “Stoppin’ Traffic”, “Heart Go Faster”, “Ecstasy” and “Love Affair”.
Overall, though, “The Art of Audio” is a fairly complex and utterly beguiling collection that mostly sways in the turbulent shadows, ominous and untamed. There’s nothing on the album that deliberately attempts to be immediately Top40 or commercial, that’s not what DAV!D&CLARA are about, but the duo hasn’t lost its gift for delivering strong melodic hooks and thumping twisted rhythms.
More than anything else it’s the hypnotic feel of these tracks which are extremely appealing. The effect of these songs could be mesmerizing especially late at night when everyone is already lost in the intoxicating energy of its beats, and whatever liquids or chemicals happen to be percolating through their bloodstreams.
“Best Of The Best” is one of the standout cuts, it’s a malefic electro head-trip with a single layer of plucked acoustic- guitar and vocals over a spooky futuristic growling synth. It’s a daring track, not exactly single material, but the kind of song that will inspire repeat plays to really let it dig in because it’s so fabulously strange. “Live For You” is even stranger in its dark and funky arrangement. It’s a superb and surprising piece of work and continues the emotional trajectory that DAV!D&CLARA follows.
Lyrically DAV!D always seems to venture into impassioned territory somewhere way behind what normal human telescopes can see. Particularly evocative of his sound is the foreboding mood he creates in tracks like “The Abyss” and “Love Affair” with the least amount of instruments. “Trapezoid”, on the other hand is music that threatens to overwhelm the senses with its dramatic power. Don’t try turning up the volume dial on this one.
All throughout these songs DAV!D delivers particularly riveting vocals over CLARA’s sometimes wall-of-sound built on heavy electronic beats and pulse-pounding synths, with textures weaving in and out, likes flashes of light flitting in and around the stars as you’re laying back and looking up at the midnight sky.
“The Art of Audio” comes close to being an absolute triumph, thanks in large part to the extraordinary sonic boom that the production packs and the gorgeous off-kilter vocals. It’s well worth picking up and absorbing, hopefully on a good pair of headphones while cocooned in darkness.
In the right frame of mind, DAV!D&CLARA will take you on a journey through distant corners of his, and your, heart and mind – Where love and all of its related emotions intertwine. Sure, it’s often a scary place to be, but sometimes exploring the inner depths of the force that drives your very existence pays dividends.