The Grateful Dead is one of those bands that is known for its extended improvised excursions. "Dark Star," a song the band has been playing live since 1968, exists in hundreds of recorded versions. The song is known to stretch on for nearly 30 minutes in its extended form. In 1994 the Dead tapped sound artist John Oswald to transform nearly 100 live recordings of the song into an epic 109 minute "ultimate" version called "Grayfolded." The work has now been reworked and remastered for this new 20th anniversary edition. Oswald has moved pieces around to create new endings for five sides of the records to avoid any fade outs. The artist considers this new take superior to what he had created before. It should be noted that Oswald comes with some pedigree. He started doing his own experiments with sound in the early 1970s when working with cut and paste on the computer was a futuristic dream. As he worked with familiar recordings of popular artists he named his process "Plunderphonics." Through the recordings that the Dead gave him, he was able to apply this technique to create "Grayfolded."
- music label: Snapper Music 1999 / Important Records 2014
reviewed by Hank Ohs 09/2014