CD, Lens Records, 2010
Dead Voices On Air is one of the monikers used by English musician Mark Spybey to release and perform his solo works. He also operates under the name Propeller, and in the past has been an active member of the cult acts Zoviet*France and Download. DVOA first started as a three-member band, involving Scott Harker and Clancy Dennehey, and began creating dark ambient/improv’/ethnic music in 1992. Nowadays, Spybey keeps this project alive on his own, and still frequently releases very interesting material.
This new record remains faithful to the dark ambient leanings that DVOA asserted in the past, but after a while you might realize that maybe it’s not that dark… This album is actually full of light and hope, and once you’ve dug your way out from under the numerous layers of drones, it really can make you feel like you’re floating in a vast and serene space, rather than feeling oppressed and claustrophobic, which is how you might feel while listening to some other acts from this particular scene. The soundscapes developed here are somehow enchanting, they make you want to travel far, to be guided by the music. Every now and then the album is also haunted by ethereal voices. For example, the eponymous track, “From Afar All Stars Spark and Glee”, features a mesmerizing vocal contribution by Serbian-American singer Ivana Salipur. Some heavily processed ethnic instruments also adorn the composition from time to time.
To put it in a nutshell, this record proves that Mark Spybey is one of those artists who, after a long career, are still able to cleverly renew their style while remaining faithful to their roots. And for listeners who are mostly into dark and heavy music, this kind of bright interval can sometimes be a real blessing.
— Olivier Noel