After relocating to Vancouver in 1993, England’s Mark Spybey adopted the name Dead Voices on Air to continue the experimental audio sculpting he took part in as a member of Newcastle’s prolific Zoviet France. That avant-garde group was famed for the extraordinary packaging of its releases. Hafted Maul is, alas, an entirely ordinary-looking CD, containing a series of edgy, dramatic urban soundscapes in which loops of found sound (voices, ambient noise, traffic, running water, static, etc.) are accompanied by bits of conscious music (percussion, harmonica, trumpet, string instruments). Pointless but not much more unpleasant than, say, rush hour in a big city, the short tracks — as well as two that break ranks to exceed ten minutes — slice and dice, rub a few processed elements together, let simmer for a while and then turn off the gas and move on to another recipe. The responsibility for discovering actual nourishment in all this abstract impressionism, however, is left to the listener. Thickly textured but equally pointless and frustrating, Shap is more of the same, using different sound sources in parallel constructions. New Words Machine credits cEVIN Key of Skinny Puppy as a collaborator.
Spasm is a sporadic collaboration between Spybey, Martin Atkins (Pigface/Invisible Records), Eric Pounder of Lab Report and Curse Mackey of Evil Mothers.