Engineered chaos, acoustic architecture, electronic madness
all define ClockDVA.
But what does the name "ClockDVA" itself mean? There are different
versions about the origin of the name. Some people say that when Adi Newton,
the group's founder and leader, and fellow muscian Steven James Turner originated
the term, they liked the idea of clock because of its association with time
and surrealism. Others contend that the name was inspired by the movie "A
Clockwork Orange." DVA translates roughly into the Russian word for two,
so "Clocktwo" supports this idea. However, ClockDVA is one word,
and a new one at that, suggesting that Newton and Turner did not intend for
the meaning of the name to be tied down too tightly.
ClockDVA was formed in 1977 in the fertile industrial scene of Sheffield,
England, by the charismatic Newton. The group's first work was produced in
two cassettes entitled "White Souls in Black Suits." During this
early period, ClockDVA's sound exhibited the influences of punk, funk, industrial,
new wave and free jazz.
The timeline that follows is based on a compilation by music writer Martin
Hastings. It provides an overview of ClockDVA's history and its recent works.
1979 - ClockDVA releases
a cassette entitled "Deep Floor." Later that same year, the group
releases "Brigade," a track which appeared on Vice Versa's (pre-ABC)
compilation, "1980: THE FIRST 15 MINUTES". Also, Adi begins work
on a novel, "Invisible Suns."
1980 - ClockDVA achieves
more exposure by releasing its first commerical cassette, "White Souls
In Black Suits", on Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records label. The
album is a sixty minute cassette gleaned from fifteen hours of improvisations
that this full-piece-band version of DVA recorded on a mobile unit.
1981 - ClockDVA releases
its first commercial album, "Thirst" with the underground label,
Fetish Records, which is a foretaste of the group's future output. It looked
like a sucessful period was ahead, but Adi's longing for research didn't match
the other members' longing for commercial sucess. A single entitled "4
Hours" was produced at the same time both; were produced by Ken Thomas.
The "4 Hours" material is far less experimental than previous efforts,
with an emphasis on funk/jazz. Surprisingly, a synthesizer was not used in
Later that year, tragedy strikes the band when co-founder Stephen Turner died.
The re-released versions of the "White Souls In Black Suits" album,
along with the "Passions Still Aflame" extended play recording,
are dedicated to the memory of "Judd" Turner. A later song, "The
Voice That Speaks From Within," contains a veiled reference to the circumstances
of Turner's death. Not long after, conflicts mount within the band, and ClockDVA
1982 - Newton forms
an all new six-piece incarnation of ClockDVA. He experiments with the
idea of dropping Clock from their name for the "High Holy Disco Mass"
1983 - During ClockDVA's
stay at Polydor Records, jazz/funk began to infiltrate the group's sound.
During this time, the band records its best product to date, the album "Advantage."
1985 - Turner starts
work on more abstract and conceptual ventures like T.A.G.C.
1988 - ClockDVA triumphantly
returns to the music world with a totally new electronic sound void of traditional
instruments. The new sound is a mixture of cybernetics and alchemistry, tribal
sounds and machinery. "I only use computers now. I used to play the trumpet
and the clarinet, but I found them too restrictive. The computer, because
of it's open architecture, is a more interesting device," Newton says.
The band promotes a cyber-punk "man + machine" philosophy that can
be likened to the group Kraftwerk's darker half. "ClockDVA have picked
up where Kraftwerk left off," says Alternative Press.
The band line-up in 1988-89 consists of three members from the "Advantage"
era: Paul Browse, Dean Dennis and Adi Newton.
1989 - Turner begins
work on soundtrack material which became "Digital Soundtracks,"
released in 1992.
1990 - DVA releases
their first new album in seven years, "Buried Dreams", which was
originally to be called "Velvet Realm." That same year, a live album
entitled "Transitional Voices" was released. This album marked the
departure of Paul Browse from ClockDVA and the first appearance of Robert
E. Baker as a member of the group.
This recording causes a big uproar between Turner and the issuing record label,
Interfisch Records, Germany. Apparently, they released the album without Turner's
knowledge or permission, which resulted in Turner cancelling his contract
with Interfisch. This dispute affects a licensing agreement between Interfisch
and the U.S. record label Wax Trax! The U.S. label planned to re-release the
ClockDVA back catalog.
All Wax Trax! gets in the end was the album "Buried Dreams," a few
singles, a broken licensing agreement, and a catalog number for the un-re-issued
"Advantage" album. Soon after this fiasco, the band signs with Contempo
Records in Italy, a reputable company interested in promoting and contributing
to the advancement of ClockDVA. In 1990, ClockDVA's personnel includes Robert
E. Baker, Paul Browse, Dean Dennis and Adi Newton.
1991 - ClockDVA headlines
the first Contempo Festival in Florence, Italy.
1992 - Most of ClockDVA's
back catalog is re-issued on CD. "I'm quite happy when I listen to "Thirst"
and "Advantage," Newton told Alternative Press. "There are
things on "Advantage" that I don't think were done particularly
right, but 80 percent of it is good. I think the early records stand in time.
It sounds fresh on compact disc; the format adds a lot of detail."
1993 - DVA releases
its last of full length album to date, "Sign" originally to be titled
"Film", and a video collection. The band has a very successful European
tour. Long time band member Dean Dennis leaves the band. GroupsDVA's personnel
during 1992-93: Robert E. Baker, Maurizio Fasolo (live support), Adi Newton,
Ari Newton (live support), and Andrew Mackenzie (live support).
1994 - "Collective
1," a back catalogue of older material, is released on Cleopatra Records.
Hyperium/Sub- Mission also releases a 3 CD box set of DVA's older material.
1995 - ClockDVA releases
a single track, "The Operators," on a compilation entitled "Dream
Injection" on Sub Terranean Records.
1996 to present- ClockDVA
is silent, with talk of projects. A book of DVA's history is supposedly in