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Randy Greif - Alice in Wonderland Part 5 CD (album) cover


Randy Greif


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the final installment of the deeply strange and disorientating 'Alice' series. Worked from an original source of a 3 LP audiobook found in a 2nd hand store, this thing grew arms and legs at an incredible rate over 5 years.

'Greif's' discipline is something to be admired. It must have been tempting at times for him to say 'Oh sod it I've had enough - I'm banging my head off a brick wall here, this is driving me insane, I can't take this anymore!'.

But stick with it he did, so hats off to him. I'm always surprised it fits so perfectly onto 5 discs using this source material over such a long period of time. His attention span was enormous, and talking of enormous, this guy has one seriously big head. Look at the pics.

I bought this hugely expensive set of cd's during it's initial paltry 500 pressings. Thankfully it has been re-released as a box set since then making this 5th installment available for all. Originally you had to send off 4 tokens from the first 4 releases to get the fifth part and therefore it was never commercially available.

This is probably the most disturbing of the five. Poor little Alice is preyed upon by music which sounds like it's been composed by a wacko serial killer. All the emphasis is on the darker side of Lewis Carroll's story, all the queer and strange parts. There's pitch-shifting aplenty, with loads of panning, diced up reversed vocals that gradually pull themselves together revealing the narration as it was originally recorded.

If you're a fan of the movie 'Alice' by Czech experimental animator 'Jan Svankmajer', I'm sure you'll love this.

The series is a superb achievement of creative artistry and clinical execution amidst the sheer scope of the endeavour. Sounding unlike any other electronic recording your likely to hear, it's full of highly manipulated spoken vocals, sampled electro-acoustic blasts and loops with downright spooky and threatening backdrops.

Radio news snippets and 1920's 78rpm records warbling in the background, only add to the alien nature of the recording. Just like the more commercially successful 'Caretaker' artist who has recently made a career out of electronically treating old 78's found in some old cellar.

This one has a sickly atmosphere unlike the previous editions which were clearer and sharper. But it doesn't really matter as it's all completely unhinged from the outset. Upper class English accents recount the story to its conclusion amongst a sea of swirling kaleidoscopic electronics and messed up vocals which are squashed, stretched and bloated beyond belief.

It's 4 stars right across the board for all 5 cd's. Taken as a whole it gets an unreserved 5 stars due to its undiluted and continuous high quality.

It's a masterpiece folks.

Dobermensch | 4/5 |


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