Mark Spybey has been connected with some pretty impressive sound arrangers, Zoviet France, Download, and the Damo Suzuki Band, and released music under his own name and that of Dead Voices On Air. In the summer of 1996, Spybey was invited to play the Anchorage Festival with James Plotkin. Their improvised performance, underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, inspired the duo to begin a recording project. Mark Spybey sent tapes of improvised performances on children's toys, ethnic stringed instruments and voice to James Plotkin. James Plotkin then added to and remixed the composites. As Spybey told Interface;
"I think ambient music has typically been associated with avoidance; it seems that a great deal of ambient music has strived to take people away from their lot in life. I prefer to think that I attempt to confront my personal demons. So I actually think that ambient music should be confrontational. It's just that we use a somewhat oblique palette... Oblique music gives space to the listener. It actually respects the listener; it actively allows one to think."
:James Plotkin:Mark Spybey: A Peripheral Blur was released by kranky in the fall of 1998. Chris Twomey noted in Exclaim that
"This time, however, the rough edges have been softened to reveal some of his (Plotkin's) most serious ambient music to date; the opening piece 'Jute Wheel' begs comparison to guitar-derived new music like the opening section of Paul Dresher's 'Liquid and Stellar Music.' The long-toned 'Aluminum as a Medium' also aims for the more ethereal-minded, featuring a horn figure with echoes of Ingram Marshall and Stuart Dempster. Of couse, behind these elements are the brutish textures of jet streams and metallic loops, leading into the deeper subtleties of the title piece and the distant spaces of 'Vord Lae'."
A Peripheral Blur (with James Plotkin)
Mark Spybey - www.spybey.net