Grateful Dead: Grayfolded - Disc 1 of 2 CD Track Listing

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Grateful Dead Grayfolded - Disc 1 of 2 (1995)
Grayfolded - Disc 1 of 2\n1995 Swell/Artifact\n\nProduced and Assembled by John Oswald\n\nOriginally Released September 15, 1995\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: "Dark Star" is a sort of loose, free-form jam that plays a pivotal role at Grateful Dead shows, and it's been anywhere between five and 55 minutes in length. Toronto-based sound chemist John Oswald is known for his editing style of "plunderphonics," whereby he builds a dense collage of pre-existing recorded material to create jaw-dropping murals (for a definitive taste, find his pop-blitzkrieg import album Plexure). In the late '90s, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh took some Oswald records to the rest of his band which, for one reason or another, had a match of aesthetics. It was decided that Oswald would be given free reign over 25 years of live "Dark Star" concert footage to create a definitive version of the piece for compact disc -- which quickly became two compact discs. As with the typical performances of the song, this CD simmers to life quite passively. It's as if the musicians (and Oswald) are all quietly throwing phrases around, waiting for something to stick. Patient listeners are rewarded around 40 minutes into the first disc, as more discernible themes start rearing their heads. "Fault Forces" takes a visceral stand with its overlapping train wrecks of fuzzy guitar burnouts, which give way to syncopated Weather Report rhythms and stoned Santana riffs. On the heels of this comes "The Phil Zone," a strange little showcase for Lesh where the bass guitar buzzes and growls with feedback. The oddities continue with "La Estrella Oscura," staggering about like a hippie flamenco dancer. Disc A (aka "Transitive Axis") closes with "Recedes (While We Can)," a lean, straight-ahead groove that washes out into a cavernous void. In and of themselves these passages may not seem like anything special, but the comparative increase in structure is certainly appreciated. Disc two, or "Mirror Ashes," continues shapeshifting between Woodstock blurriness and more cohesive moments, but it all fades away into murky, faceless, rumbling ambience at around the 15-minute mark, with "Cease Tone Beam," a piece that drifts out of the atmosphere and straight into Kubrick's monolith "beyond the infinite" (this would be an especially bad time for the drugs to be peaking). The familiar sounds do return in time, rising to a multi-layered drum cluster overdub at the start of "Dark Matter Problem," a sort-of finale-flavored version of the rock noodlings that have sprouted intermittently for the past hour and a half. Along with extensive editorial commentary by ethnomusicologist Rob Bowman, there are detailed wave-file charts in the liner notes that itemize and time-stamp all the concert footage excavated for each passage. This is both a much-needed piece of the puzzle and a fascinating read. This double disc is a masterwork that belies all the effort that went into it. Due to the nebulous and organic raw material (and Oswald's delicacy with it), Grayfolded 1969-1996 rarely shows its cut-and-paste seams. This may actually disappoint some eager plunderphonic fans by how smoothly it flows. Conversely, some Grateful Dead fans may clutch their hearts in reverence, as if the band simply played a straight hour-and-45-minute song. The casual listener without the enlightenment of liner notes may dismiss it as meandering, and scholarly audiophiles may identify the quirks and technical magic the further along one gets. Ultimately, every opinion has some validity. Whether you're a Grateful Dead fan or an Oswald fan, you will likely have your loyalty tested, since it's such an epic and unique recording for both. It may be a bit much to call this a "controversial" album, but it does call attention to the study of music as much as the performance of it. -- Glenn Swan\n\ Product Description\n1995 Canadian release featuring the deleted 'Grayfolded Vol.1' & an hour long mix of 'Dark Star' comprised of bits fromover 100 performances of the tune in conjunction with the25th anniversary of it by John 'Mr. Plunderphonics' OSWALD.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nHead Music for Deadheads, April 1, 2007\nReviewer: R. C. L. Olson\nIf you just like the down-home, country-sounding aspect of the Grateful Dead's music, this probably isn't the album for you. But if you love the spacy, swirling, improvisational aspect (think "Dark Star" on Live Dead), this DEFINITELY is the album for you. Pick a quiet night, settle back in your favorite chair with your earphones and a nice buzz (from whatever), close your eyes, and feast your brain! RATING: 5 "DARK" STARS!\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW \nThis is something else, but a good something..., February 23, 2006\nReviewer: G. Sharik "gnshar01" (Athens, GA)\nLet me start off by saying that Greyfolded is NOT what you might think it is...the ultimate Dark Star. It is far from it. That said, however, it is a work of intense complexity, dexterity, and an amazing knowledge of the material. It was put together in much the same way that Anthem was done; that is, from various live performances of the Dead, except that Greyfolded is done so to the nth degree. As others have noted here, it is performed with an "orchestra" of the various Grateful Dead bands across time, faded in and out to often devastating psychedelic effect. There is even a chart at the back of the booklet showing where all of the differing performances come in and out. Greyfolded is like an alloy of these performances, producing a final product with its own properties. \n\nSince Grayfolded is its own work, it is not the happy Darkstar that I like to bliss out on for 20 minutes at a time. However, it is nearly 2 two hours of intense Darkstar-based music and sounds, all performed by the Dead according to the meticulous arranging and puzzle-fitting efforts of John Oswald. For someone out there looking for the ultimate Darkstar, go elsewhere. However, if you want a really interesting experimental GD extraganza, pick this up! Because this doesn't deliver the ecstatic punch that Darkstar delivers, I only give this record 4 stars out of 5. However, this IS still an amazing work.\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW \nTime Travel, December 10, 2002\nReviewer: William Wood (Sydney, New South Wales Australia)\nFor Dark Star fans(and I understand there are a few of us)this is IT(so far).\nAlmost two hours of the Dead doing what they did best,improvising.This is John Oswalds "version" if you will of the ultimate Dark Star.He has taken over a hundred hours of tapes from the Dead Vaults ,all of performances of Dark Star and compiled ,segued and overdubbed a symphony of the Dead.The most amazing thing is that although this set covers a thirty year timespan it sounds so perfect and so cohesive that it defies logic.It is as if we owned a time machine instead of a compact disc player as we hear Jerry Garcia in 1971 duelling with Jerry Garcia in 1991.This is the most exciting music I have heard since I bought the King Crimson ProjeKCs box set.\nYou know you need this set!.\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW \nFantasy Illusion Dream, March 27, 2002\nReviewer: rubidium84 (Ft. Calhoun, NE)\nA lot of people in other reviews say that this disc doesn't sound like the "real" dark star as played by the Grateful Dead back in the '70s. Well, it's not. This is a JOHN OSWALD album - NOT a Grateful Dead album. What Oswald did was use parts of the Dead playing "Dark Star" to create his own piece.\nAnd what a piece he created. Nearly two hours of seamless music, and all of it sounding like the paintings of Jackson Pollock, or the ultimate pipe dream. My favorite moments are the end of disc 1 and the beginning of disc 2, especially the feedback solo on "The Phil Zone". And how about the transition from "73rd Star Bridge" into "Cease Tone Beam"? Great stuff.\nIn some pressings of disc 2, there are three minutes of extra music hidden before the Multiple Garcias shout "transitive nightfall of diamonds". To find them, start the disc and as soon as the CD starts playing, hold down the "Reverse search" button on your CD player. The thing that shows the time will start counting backwards until it shows -3:02. When it does, release your finger and listen.\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW \nNot Better Than the Real Thing, December 2, 1999\nReviewer: Michael D. Sobota "Michael" (Dela-Where?)\nIn accordance with most of the other reviews, this album is based on a cool concept, and it does seem to transport you to wherever it was the Dead took you when they created these sounds, it falls a bit short of what it could have been. I picked up this set in '94, and it's great music to listen to in the dark, but there are better full versions of "Dark Star" already available. I've listed to many versions of this song, but in all honest, if you've heard the version from '69's "Live Dead", it doesn't get better than that.\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW \nBuild a better Dark Star?, November 16, 1999\nReviewer: Noah Zingarelli ( (Long Island, New York)\nNothing is as transportational as a true Dark Star, but this melding of Dark Stars is definately worth listening to. Seemlessly woven through 2 discs is some of the finest sounds the Dead ever created during the hundreds of Dark Stars they played throughout their career. Pop this disc in if you're driving through the mountains or watching the sunset over the ocean, star gazing with some friends, watching a full moon rise. You won't be disappointed. It will take you there\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW \nAmbient timewarp, January 12, 2007\nReviewer: Laurence Upton (Wilts, UK)\nIt could be argued that the first ever plunderphonics record was the Grateful Dead's Anthem Of The Sun from 1969. In this they overlaid studio techniques involving overdubs, phasing, echo, backward tapes, pitch and speed shifting onto a complex collage of live concert performances that centered on That's It For The Other One, which was itself superimposed over a skeletal studio rhythm track. Therefore it is especially fitting that the acknowledged master of the medium, John Oswald, should devote this two-disc set to a single piece by the Grateful Dead. \n\nDark Star is best known in its elongated form on the album Live/Dead, the only Grateful Dead record owned by John Oswald at the start of this project (an extract of the Live/Dead version also appeared in the film Zabriskie Point). The song began life as a sub-three minute single recorded during the sessions for Anthem Of The Sun, but its suitability as a jumping-off point for extended instrumental experimentation led to it becoming an on and off stage favourite for over twenty-five years; and since the Dead (and kerzillion bootleggers) made audio documents of all their concerts, a vast archive of over 100 performances was available as source material for John Oswald's 1995 piece, Grayfolded. Forty hours' worth of these were digitally transferred to use on the project. \n\nUsing samples as short as one quarter of a second and rarely longer than 15 seconds, the resulting Grayfolded is an extraordinary technical and sonically hallucinatory time-warped achievement, reconstructed from performances of Dark Star dating between January 1968 and September 1993. Each disc comprises one complete assembled and perfectly lysergic performance that never was, the first disc being Transitive Axis and the second entitled Mirror Ashes, each with their own subtle conceptual distinctions. \n\nSince the early seventies, in his plunderphonic pieces, John Oswald has tried to amplify the qualities that were most striking to him in the work of the artists he was plundering. In the case of the Dead, this was their extended live playing style. Consequently, by exaggerating the length of the piece Dark Star while attempting furthermore to translate the complete feel of the Grateful Dead live experience into an ambient dance outer-space type of record, he has created a virtual super-real definition of what Dark Star is. \n\nThe piece was commissioned by the Grateful Dead and when Phil Lesh commented that he would like to hear more of Oswald's landmark "folding" effects, he added to Mirror Ashes for his benefit a two second clip whereby the whole hour of Transitive Axis was heard, having been folded 16,384 times. This is just one example of the obsessively complex nature of the construction of this sublime work. \n\nEssential to any Deadhead collection, this is a record that can both be listened to intently, enveloped by headphones, as I would ideally recommend, or ignominiously made to function ambiently, Eno-style, as background music to aid household or office chores, or in the car. It also has wonderfully expansive liner notes by Rob Bowman, and comprehensive time-maps, showing from where each sample was taken.\n\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW \nNot for the Neophyte, December 21, 2001\nReviewer: "pj_in_dc" (NoVa)\nI first started grooving on the Dead in high school (mid-70s) and it took me a LONG time to really grow to love The Dark Star, put off by most of the late 60s and 70s versions which tended to have godawful-only-good-if-you-were-there-out-of-your-gourd feedback segments. I think the Dead were, too, which is why it was retired for a long stretch.\nAnyway, as I got older and digital technology allowed easily skipping past the parts one didn't like as much, The Star began to really resonate with me. It has never been a tune for the faint of heart or those who require a tune and a hook. It is an amazing composition which the Dead never managed to exhaust...enter Oswald.\n\nI picked this up when it first came out and have had the same love/hate relationship with this disc. Technologically, what Oswald has done is mindblowing; the Dead's contribution is even more mindblowing. It lives up to its billing in the liner notes as the ultimate Dark Star, the one that everyone secretly hoped to hear. However, this disc probably takes a long time to grow to love, and depending on where your head is when you listen to it, it will alternately astound you and aggravate you. If you are patient and a lover of all things "spacey," then this is a good disc for you. If you're just getting started, take the other reviewer's advice to turn around and run like hell in the other direction.\n\nshall we go...?\n\n\ Details \nDistributor: Phantom Import Distributi \nRecording Mode: Stereo \nSPAR Code: n/a \n\nAlbum Notes\nRecorded between 1968 and 1993. Includes liner notes by Rob Bowman.\nCanadian version features the previously deleted GRAYFOLDED VOL. 1, and the 60-minute "Dark Star" comprised of excerpts from over 100 performances of the song.\nGRAYFOLDED is a massively overdubbed sound collage based around the Grateful Dead's epic "Dark Star," a prime vehicle for the band's free-form improvisations. It is culled from over fifty different live performances of the song, combined and reassembled through studio-ace John Oswald's "Plunderphonics" techniques.\n\nIndustry Reviews\nIncluded on Jon Pareles' list of the Top 10 Albums of '95 - extended, time-warped psychedelic jam that is meticulously hallucinatory...\nNew York Times (01/06/1996)\n\n4 Stars - Very Good - ...Oswald's work has resulted in a Deadhead's Midsummer Night's Dream, an expansive, extremely psychedelic Dark Star that, like a sonic time machine, seamlessly traverses various eras of the Dead's multi-decadenal career...\nDown Beat (03/01/1995)\n\n8 (out of 10) - ...Using the song as raw material, Oswald has built a symphony....a fitting monument to their mighty excess.\nNME (01/20/1996)\n\n...Oswald's most daring utilization of his 'plunderphonics' techiniques to date. Over 50 performances of the titanic live set-piece 'Dark Star,' spanning the years 1968-1993, were scrambled into a single one-hour-and-45-minute mega-version...\nMusician (02/01/1996)
This rock cd contains 9 tracks and runs 60min 2sec.
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  7. Grateful Dead - The Phil Zone (04:45)
  8. Grateful Dead - La Estrella Oscura (09:33)
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