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Randy Greif - Alice In Wonderland No. 1  CD (album) cover


Randy Greif


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Gosh, where on earth do you start with such a sprawling monstrosity as this? 'Alice in Wonderland' is a series of 5 full length cd's comprising the entire story by Lewis Carroll narrated by some guy I've been trying to find the identity of for 16 years with no luck.

The style of this album would have to be classed as electronic experimental, tape looped, electro acoustics and avant garde in the extreme. This is the way I always believed this story should have been told - in dark, creepy overtures, oppressive and malignant throughout. Not the bright Disney styled mush that most people are familiar with.

This was the most expensive set of cd's I ever bought and it was back in '96 - where, if you bought the first 4, you got number 5 free by cutting off a bit of the card cover and sending it to owning label 'Staalplaat' in Amsterdam. Do I regret buying it ? Always...

That is until I play it once a year and remember that it's something of a masterpiece and is one of the few sets of cd's I'd least want to lose amongst the 4000+ I own, Honestly... How this guy managed to put this whole disorientating construct together is beyond me.

Part one starts as it means to go on with a posh English accent which is diced and electronically chopped up as slabs of sound and undescribable instruments are looped and twisted beyond recognition, leaving you feeling like you've just drunk a bottle of gin.

In some ways this would have been an ideal soundtrack to Jan Svankmajer's 'Alice' film from '88 but somehow this feels far more crushing and heavy. What makes this even better is the fact that the voice of Alice sounds so tiny and vulnerable amidst the monstrous noise surrounding her.

The recording quality seems to ebb and flow, where it's increasingly difficult to hear the narrator in some parts across some of the cd's. In other parts it's crystal clear. Perhaps this was part of Greif's masterplan? Who knows what went on in his mind. It sounds to me like he was running out of places to hide the bodies...

All I can say is that this is some of the weirdest bunch of stuff I've ever heard. Take the 'Residents' from the 70's then add some acid. And Hey... if you wanna buy it, forget it. This has been out of circulation for years now. It only had a criminally low pressing of 500 at the time. Look on the bright side - if you can find this one then it's pretty much the same throughout. If someone played you a track from one of the six you'd be hard pushed to define which cd it originated from.

The good news is that it sounds like it could have been released in 2012. It hasn't dated in the slightest - probably due to the fact that there are no instruments used at all. Not only that but if you find this original you get the most wonderful fold out origami card sleeve which displays a lot of weird and incongruous images.

Four stars for this wacky release.

Dobermensch | 4/5 |


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