Nov 2011 15

Dead Voices on Air - From Afar All Stars Spark and GleeDead Voices on Air
Category: Experimental / Ambient
Album: From Afar All Stars Spark and Glee
Stars: 3
Blurb: Cosmic in scope, unorthodox by design, Dead Voices in Air continues to push the boundaries of what we know of as music.


Regardless of whether or not experimental ambience and sound collages legitimately qualifies as music, the style has emerged steadily over the past several decades to be an integral component in underground music. As one of the most prominent non-musicians in the scene, Mark Spybey has earned a reputation for his unorthodox approach as he incorporates virtually every possible method of manipulating sound at his disposal in such groups as Zoviet France, Download, Beehatch, and most especially his primary outlet Dead Voices on Air. His fourteenth album under the DVoA moniker, From Afar All Stars Spark and Glee may perhaps be among the most seemingly musical outings he has released.

Beginning with the whopping 11 minutes and 45 seconds of “Something Maybe,” the listener is treated to a bedrock of synthesized arpeggios whose reverberations build into a cloudy tonal haze that shifts in mood to sound almost melodic, before shifting gears midway through to take on a more abstract quality that sounds almost literally like the band’s name – distant voices lost in ethereal space – and finally ends with a return to the introductory composition. The spacious atmosphere maintains throughout the album, offering little in the way of any conventional structure or chord progression as tracks like “Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams” and “The Silence Where the Murmours Lie” move into fluidic ambiences that encompass the listener in an auditory trancelike state. Especially noteworthy is the presence of American-Serbian singer Ivana Salipur on the title track, on which her voice resonates and echoes in steadily rising layers that create a distinctly ethnic and dreamlike tapestry of organic sound. As the album wears on, the atmosphere grows more dissonant, with the distant sound of martial horns meshing with a pulsating sonic disturbance on “The Far Fields Melt My Heart;” the same can be said for the ringing modulations and clash of horns and cymbals on “Locusts Drummed the Darkening Air,” reminding this writer of György Ligeti’s “Atmospheres” from 2001: A Spacey Odyssey. “Happy Days Snap the Stem” is one of the most sonically diverse pieces on the record, beginning with an almost malevolent mélange of buzzing sound atop darkened pads that take on a celestial character midway through to the end of the track.

Spybey is ever adventurous as he pushes the limits of sound and defies the categorizations of music, creating a style all his own in the process. One can imagine From Afar All Stars Spark and Glee as the soundtrack to a lonely trip through interstellar space with only the faintest hints of musicality to ground the listener in some sense of an increasingly distant homeworld. Granted, Dead Voices on Air is not for all tastes as many may find the record a jarring experience, but those with an ear for the cosmic and the unusual without sacrificing the occasional grip on familiarity should find Spybey’s work as a whole and this album in particular quite rewarding.

Track list:

  1. Something Maybe
  2. This Silence Where the Murmours Lie
  3. From Afar All Stars Spark and Glee
  4. Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams
  5. Till the Dusk
  6. The Far Fields Melt My Heart
  7. Locusts Drummed the Darkening Air
  8. Happy Days Snap the Stem
  9. The Air is a Mill of Hosts

Dead Voices on Air Website
Dead Voices on Air MySpace
Dead Voices on Air Facebook
Lens Records Website
Lens Records MySpace
Lens Records Facebook
Lens Records Twitter

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

Leave a Comment


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!