Man-Amplified: Clock DVA

February 17, 2011

Music Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 1991

Artist: Clock DVA

Written by: Clock DVA

Label: Contempo CONTEDISC

Man-Amplified

“The first users of tools were not men (a fact appreciated only recently), but pre-human anthropoids. The old idea that man invented tools is misleading, more accurately tools invented man – so began the symbiosis.” – from the liner notes.

Track Listing:

1. Man-Amplifiers – 5:15
2. Techno Geist – 5:42
3. Axiomic and Heuristic – 4:48
4. NYC Overload – 6:28
5. Transitional Voices – 7:30
6. Bitstream – 5:55
7. Fractalize – 5:06
8. Final Program – 4:17
9. Dark Attractor – 5:16
10. Memories of Sound – 4:39


That’s “d-vah,” Russian for “two”. Originally founded in 1978, Clock DVA became part of the industrial music scene in 1980 when White Souls in Black Suits was released on Industrial Records, though at the time they had more of a guitar-driven sound. Breaking up in 1983 then reforming in 1987, the band went totally electronic with Buried Dreams. Man-Amplifiers was released in 1991, featuring songs (and liner notes) about cybernetics and how they are changing humans (This could probably be compared to Kraftwerk’s The Man-Machine).

This is one of the rarer CDs you’ll want for your collections (actually, Clock’s whole discography is very rare) so be prepared to pay a premium unless you want to try the torrent route. However you acquire this CD (or their whole catalog), cyber-music fans will find something to love. Just check out the tracks:

Man-Amplifiers. The opening/title track starts off by declaring We are machines / a system of mind (I wish I could find the CD’s lyrics somewhere online) setting the tone for the rest of the CD.

Techno Geist. Let the spirit rise. With a bouncy beat, it’s hard not to let your spirit rise as that all-important question posed by the CD is asked: Did man invent machine, or machine invent man? Then again, man is a machine that goes beyond.

Axiomatic and Heuristic. A bit of a down-tempo tune.

NYC Overload. Do yourself a favor, don’t watch this video (from Clock DVA’s video compilation Kinetic Engineering)… LISTEN instead…

If the music makes you feel like you’re standing in the middle of the Big Apple, surrounded by the visible hustle-and-bustle of the streets and the invisible hustle-and-bustle of data transfers, your system might be experiencing a bit of NYC overload.

Transitional Voices. Can you hear them? Can you feel them? If so, they may make you want to dance to this ditty.

Bitstream. A bit of electronic noise leads into a tune with a funky bass line. But is this about surfing for porn, or looking for a date off Craigslist? You are a number, a number of desire. Maybe it’s just the mathematics of emotions coming through the wires.

Fractalize. Now this is a bouncy number. Almost danceable.

Final Program. Not exactly the “final” program on this CD, Adi Newton wants us to escape the final program and escape man’s emotions.

Dark Attractor. Mostly electronics with some synthesized voices. Can’t really tell what they’re saying though. This is probably what it would sound like in the wires.

Memories of Sound. Performance perfect is perfect performance, so says a female voice at the beginning of this dark, brooding number with bits of THX-1138 mixed in for good measure.

 

Conclusion: Not often that something is mandatory for your cyberpunk media collection, but Man-Amp’d is a mandatory MUST HAVE. And if you can get the CD complete with booklet, you not only win the Internet, but the whole Universe.

This post has been filed under Cyberpunk Music by Mr. Roboto.

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