Dead Voices On Air – From Labrador to Madagascar

Dead Voices On Air
From Labrador to Madagascar

Dead Voices on Air is the work of Mark Spybey who comes to the table with an impressive resume within the experimental/ambient/industrial musical world. As an ex-member of Zoviet France and Download, Spybey has appeared on over 50 albums in a 5-year period with the likes of Faust, Michael Rother (Neu!), Dieter Moebius (Cluster), Pigface, I Am Spoonbender and members of The Legendary Pink Dots, to name a few. He was also a part of Can guitarist Michael Karoli’s band Sofortkontakt! that appeared at the Can 30th anniversary shows in 1999.

On From Labrador to Madagascar Spybey proves his worth to this genre by formulating 52 minutes of bleak and dense, minimalist, shapeshifting, electronic soundscapes over the course of the album’s 9 tracks. Dead Voices on Air proves the perfect designation for Spybey’s solo work as it includes everything from droning buzzes, to radio hiss, tribal percussion, machine noises, animal squeals and human heartbeats, all strung out in a dark, ambient, electronic musical haze that gives these tracks a compelling edge and a sinister feel. As if beings from the great beyond are channeling communications to the human race through sonic tapestries.

The compositions on From Labrador to Madagascar are to be taken as more of an experimental, musical art-form than experimental rock music. And while they could be labeled ambient, only in the sense that they can accommodate many levels of listening attention, they also possess a sense of preternatural sonic space that includes techno, noise and industrial textures. These otherworldly soundscapes evolve and morph into various dissonant incarnations and rarely form into anything cohesive or excitingly amiable.

Although a few tracks like “Furtive,” “”Halv” and “Splay” contain passages that occasionally venture into more melodic ambient territory covered by the likes of Labradford and Holger Czukay, most others teeter on the edge of being eerily seductive and annoyingly eerie while never really being either. That being said, From Labrador to Madagascar should only be experienced by those willing to throw aside their preconceived notions of what experimental, industrial-ambient music sounds like and brave enough to let Dead Voices on Air demonstrate their interpretation.