Clock DVA

Sign

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AllMusic Review by

Clock DVA is best appreciated in the context of Kraftwerk, such that the band takes the man-machine aesthetic of Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider and pushes it into a less romanticized, more clinical computer age. Through albums like Advantage, Buried Dreams, and Man-Amplified, Clock DVA evolved from an industrial-soul band into the true inheritors of the Kraftwerkian machines-make-music mantle. Sign appears to be their final and hence definitive statement, and it shows the evolution of the cyber-ideas that Adi Newton has espoused throughout his career. Man-Amplified sounded very cold and sterile; Digital Soundtracks less so. Sign, however, introduces a warmth and feeling into the sound, proving that machines are truly complete when they can feel emotion. "Signal" brings everything to the table, warm synthesizer tones and samples of NASA astronauts talking about the overwhelming emotions they felt on various Apollo missions. "Re-Entry" brings a guitar into the mix, further humanizing Clock's electronics through human hands. "Return to Blue" is the most human-sounding track on the album, perhaps in the band's oeuvre, with a melancholy vocal track and piano line. Sometimes it is forgotten that "techno" is short for "technology," but Clock always keeps that idea in the foreground. "Voice Recognition Test" and "Eternity" hark back to the Man-Amplified sound that Clock is most known for, with arpeggiating synths and an incessant beat. Casual fans of industrial and electronic music will want to pick this up, and it is essential for the discriminating techno-geek.

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