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(1999 – present)

There are at least two bands with this name: a German duo active from 1999, and a band from New Zealand influenced by bands like The Fall, Pixies, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Pavement.

1. Audiac’s 2003 debut, Thank You For Not Discussing The Outside World, was produced by Hans-Joachim Irmler of Faust and continues to maintain a top-20 ranking on’s trip-hop chart between Portishead and Massive Attack. The sound occasionally recalls the radio-ready freeze-dried chansons of Bowie or Björk, but its emotional nudity anchors it firmly in the tradition of performance art. With hooks, of course – Alexander Wiemer and Niklas David may be slaves to the self-assigned task of designing a musical universe from the inside out, but they have no intention of inhabiting it alone.

The new album – due out in 2011 – takes the duo even farther into the realm of musical abstraction. David weaves keyboards, samples and synthesizer into landscapes of shimmering harmony, then deconstructs them with powerful gestures of dissonance. Wiemer’s dynamic, jazz-inflected vocal stylings skate across frozen lagoons of polyphony or draw on the power of interjected rhythms. Ringer Anja Füsti provides commentary in the language of classically trained percussion. The only constant is drama.

“Beats are all about getting into a zone and staying there,” David explains. “To me, melody and harmony are the interesting part.” Increasingly, he says, Audiac takes its inspiration from Romantic and classical music. But there is nothing classical about their sound. Audiac has made a clear commitment to keeping art rock firmly straddled on the cutting edge of technology.

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