Dead Voices on Air

New Words Machine

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Proto-industrial maverick cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy puts in an appearance on three tracks here, telegraphing the general discourse of Dead Voices on Air's music. Hissing sheets of electronics suggest metal rain striking wet pavement, as awkward, machine-generated-but non-techno-beats wheeze and groan like the last remains of a long destroyed and decaying pressing plant.

Composer Mark Spybey pays more than just homage to such folks as Lustmord and the Hafler Trio. Like those musicians, Spybey prefers stagnant audio pools infested with omnipotent tones and esoteric noises. Key's involvement assures DVOA's credibility with the industrial crowd. But those troops enlisted in the doom-and-gloom brigade might find the absence of the genre's dirtier rhythmic cadences more than disconcerting. Too bad, because those receptive enough will find Spybey and Key proposing that there's more to industrial than Front 242 and Ministry. If anything, Spybey finds a home in a whole new ballpark this time out. The purgatorial zone between '80s industrial and '90s ambient? Stay tuned.

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