DEAD VOICES ON AIR, "FRANKIE PETT PRESENTS THE HAPPY SUBMARINES, PLAYING THE MUSIC OF,..."
Mark Spybey's mostinteresting work is often the result of collaborative efforts. Most ofthis album is produced and engineered by either Frank "Frankie Pett"Verschuuren (Legendary Pink Dots / Teargarden) or Daryl Neudorf(Abintra) with Frankie being the executive producer, thus some of themeaning behind the goofy title (the rest is somewhat explained by thehumorous work of fiction in the insert). Contributing musicallyare several live players including Neudorf and Niels Van Hoorn, also ofthe Pink Dots. Half of the 10 tracks (the first is merely a 7 secondspoken introduction by Niels' young son Bert) are solo Spybey and theother half collaborations. Spybey's solo tracks are mostly typicalsoundscape pieces comprised of synth textures and drones, sampledsounds and bits of bass. The exception is "The Brother Casio" whichfeatures a tediously repetitive, overdriven beat that's most likely apre-set on a cheap Casio synth. This track aside, Spybey's solo work ispleasantly relaxing but there's nothing much more to say than that.It's the other half of the album where things get really interesting asSpybey's atmospheres and programming mesh with the organic sounds ofthe additional players through jamming and sampling. "Zeehond"playfully splashes keyboard sounds and bass throbs around a cut up drumrhythm by Bradley Dunn-Klerxs. "Dogger", with Neudorf, is alsoambient-ish with bell tones and processed metallic sounds clippingalong. "Bored of Canada" is a live track, though you'd never know it,recorded in Germany this past February. Here DVOA includes Neudorf ondrums and Darren Philips on keys for a mellow jam similar in sound toBoards of Canada, which the title is obviously poking fun at. Once "WetFire Cotton" blasts off, it's dangerously close to the soundtrackrealms of Barry Adamson with its car chase paced rhythm, Neudorf'sguitar and bass lines and Van Hoorn's intermittent sax riffs. "IceCream for Girl" is the most ambient journey with soft spoken words, ahowling wind, synth twinkles and some fluttering flute by Van Hoorn.Notice I've yet to mention the word 'vocals'? That's because thereessentially aren't any, anywhere, which is disappointing. The album asa whole is too heavy on the soundscape side. I really yearn for morecollaborations and vocalized songs such as those on the previous album"Piss Frond". "Frankie Pett" is good but it fails to take fulladvantage of its creative potential and simply isn't as inventive andinteresting as Piss Frond.