Davos, the debut full length from Computer Magic, aka Danielle “Danz” Johnson, has been two years in the making. That lengthy gestation period is evident in the disparate musical poles of the record, brought to life with the help of producer and engineer Claudius Mittendorfer, (Neon Indian, Interpol, Bloc Party). Tracks like “Fair” are punchy, tightly-wound electro bursts, while the likes of “Spaces” are languid, more expansive expressions of Johnson’s ambition.
The latter is one of her personal favorites, she says. “It’s the last song and pretty different to what I’ve been doing in the past. It’s got a slower pace and we used some really spacey, ethereal sounding patches, along with big, reverby live drums. Claudius had access to some amazing analog synths like the Arp Odyssey and Minimoog from the ’70’s that we used on most of the record.”
For other tracks, she enlisted the help of a cast of well known players. “Secret”, one of the only songs with guitar on it, was laid down with Tim Wheeler of Britrock veterans Ash, which Chris Egan, of Solange and Blood Orange, “added some really cool live percussion arrangements to this one as well that I think make it stand out,” she says.
For “Zuma”, the defining stylistic touch comes in the implementation of vocoder toward the end of the slowly unfolding track. “It’s kind of a recurring theme of the record,” Johnson says. “The name is an homage to the Neil Young record of the same title, hence the ending with the ocean soundscape samples. I’m hoping it puts everyone on a beach somewhere.”