Monday, December 1, 2014


John Oswald/Grateful Dead
Grayfolded 3LP on black, clear red or clear blue vinyl
Important Records 2014

Let's cut this dirt tracker short. Q: Do you need to hear and possibly purchase Grayfolded, a career-spanning yarn-wad of "Dark Star" takes assembled by Mr. Plunderphonic? A: Surely. Conditional Q: Must it be off six sides of wax? A: Nah. Ask me, which I spose you did, Grayfolded was built with long-playing media in mind. I never did take much liking to the look of the compact disc, but they sound perfectly fine. Tapes tie into all manner of wistful reflection for me, but historically they truly freed recordings artists to compose without fear of [much] compression. Both formats freed the listener from the armchair. Sure, this big beast'll look purdy on a shelf. Even comes with "six 'time maps' which chart the source concerts" for the 105 versions so's you can feel more like a real Head for yer beanie-wearin' copilots. But I reckon if ya'll's in the state of mind that might inspire throwing this on, y'all probably ain't up for babysitting more than the aliens what just landed in yer laps. (Not to mention there's a map in the OG double-CD set, too. And one coulda fit nicely in a tape box...say, to be released on the tape imprint Important just restarted?) So why didn't they make this set stackable so you ain't gotta flip 57 times? Probably because younger folks don't know that's an option so it'd just confuse or worry em. So here we are.

If you ain't heard it yet, of course do so before you drop the asking ducats. Yer ears are in for a harrowing couple hours. Shit veers all over the Spacetime Hwy, from cascading ribbons of dusty night light; to krauty choogle; to stereo-panned MIDI dronemares; to stuff you could easy slide into one of them Youtube "shred" videos, no lie. They were, after all, the Sonic Youth of their day: your spoonful of outland comes with a heaping bowl of grueling. So maybe this is the right format after all: you gotta suffer to get your sanook.

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