Music can be a potent escape from the pressures and anxiety associated with the real world. But it can also be the exact opposite, acting as a mirror of society, reflecting its flaws. DAV!D (David Castillo) and his trustworthy computer CLARA, better known as DAV!D&CLARA, have delivered a bit of both in their 10 year collaboration. They’re certainly qualified to do so, as the rich sonic layers of their keyboard-heavy sound translate well to a futuristic landscape capable of looking deep into the present and past. These innovators have never stood by what was popular or selling in music at any time. DAV!D has always stuck to his personal preferences when it comes to the music he releases.
DAV!D&CLARA’s music has taken many different forms as the years have passed. One commonality among it though, is the innovation of the sound and the obvious lack of care for what others who are making popular music are doing at any time. DAV!D follows the rule of doing what you love, producing content that you love, and sticking to your guts instead of taking what others have done successfully. This is the way of true artists, and the ever so obvious way of DAV!D&CLARA.
The new album “Body Works” is a continuance of the dark and curiously gritty sound, mixed with jubilant themes that he has been pursuing in recent releases, but it has its own uniqueness. Right off the bat with the first track “Do It Like You Mean It”, you get very strong emotional vibes; as the song has a futuristic sound brought on by the synths. It also has a strong rock element to it, which blends well with the acoustic guitar and creates that quaint electro-acoustic sound, but in a unique way.
As usual DAV!D&CLARA delve in resonating electronic sounds punctuated by bursts of energy. Essentially alternative, and relentlessly energetic. An ominous ambience, enveloping but always welcoming, and sometimes particularly fun.
The experimental subtext suites his music, and his talent for awesome chord progressions and abrupt but exciting changes of volume and tempo will ensure a growing fan base of darkwave goths who love to listen.
DAV!D&CLARA mainly eschew pop sensibilities but never his grand themes. Whilst his career has been characterized by a pronounced focus on grungy synth sonics, his ability to write spellbinding anthems has never waned, and “Body Works” sits well on his trajectory as a major force in the electronica and industrial market.
“Beautiful “X3” and “Melody “X269” being powerful examples thereof. The bombastic structure of his music is all in place, but the synths implore a bit of fetish, some dance and more mischief.
The crunchy, processed synths ring loud and maintain the foreboding, while the beats are obsessive and demanding of attention. In fact they’re really well designed, weaving in and out of DAV!D’s deeply resonant vocals, clothed in warm and oddly comforting sheets of keyboard sound.
All DAV!D&CLARA’s musical tropes are used on “Power of Love “X113”. The slow and introspective intro, with a cataclysmic and bludgeoning synth right up front eventually leads into the acoustic guitars of “Sunset Eyes”.
Staggeringly awesome is “Luxe Life”, with its twisted falsetto adlibs, which falls slap-bang in the middle of this album. DAV!D&CLARA start off with a quiet and subtle tone of voice building up to the chorus, but as soon as the chorus hits, not only does the level of passion in DAV!D’s voice rise dramatically, but so does the intensity of the music.
This song is unique because both the soft and hard tones go together to create a contrast that stays with you after you listen. The best songs are the ones that leave you thinking, and every part of this song is exactly what it needs to be, which is rare, but exactly what this song does.
The music only gets more intriguing and sensual as you listen on. “X77-2” is mesmerizing, while songs like “Shooting Star” and “Tear It Up” are also extremely necessary for the album to feel complete, as they bring so much to the sound, and are both executed flawlessly.
“Soaked” literally transports us further towards the climax point of this recording, while “Golden and Delicious” continues with an even more pulsating electro beat and a behemoth sounding melody. “Body Works” can be considered the orgasmic apex of this album, forging one of DAV!D&CLARA’s strongest synth riffs ever recorded, to my mind.
“X257” closes the show down as it flawlessly showcases DAV!D&CLARA’s ability to marry both melody and power; with neither forfeiting for the other. This project manages to create more than just simple sounds – instead, there’s an idea that the big picture is far bigger than you’d ever care to realize. Just listen to the lustful lyrics to get your mind working. I especially left those for you to decipher!
SUBSCRIBE to DAV!D&CLARA: