The dance project Spy was formed by Joshua Ralph, a film student who parlayed his interest in home recordings to a record contract. Ralph grew up on Long Island, studied at SUNY-Buffalo for a year, then returned to New York City to attend NYU's film school. He spent more time making tape recordings on his own than in class, however. While bringing his demos around the city, he made a connection with musician Alex Weil and engineer Louis Scalise. Signed to Lava/Atlantic, he released his debut album, Music to Mauzner By, in 1999.
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