A mainstay of the North American experimental-music underground, Randy Greif often adopts intriguing conceptual designs for new recording projects. His creative reinvention of ALICE IN WONDERLAND is certainly ambitious--a dusty BBC reading of Lewis Carroll's classic story, spiced up with tape loops, electro-acoustic treatments, sound effects, and stretches of original score. Greif's six-hour presentation took the form of five serial installments, the final four available only by mail order--and only with proof-of-purchase certificates from previous volumes.
Soleilmoon has gone all out with this five-disc reissue of ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Greif's consistent (predominantly dark) vision remains the main attraction, but the excellent new artwork (a suitably surreal melange of ink drawings and CGI backgrounds), remastered tapes, and a set of collectible cards enhance the experience. The familiar narrative leads the listener down the rabbit hole; Greif takes it from there. Tape mischief and mood-sculpting electronics flesh out the freakish landscape and unforgettable characters. ALICE has inspired its share of imitation and homage, but Greif's magical, musique concrFte magnum opus ranks alongside animator Jan Svankmajer's definitive "Alice" (1988) as the most terrific of Wonderland tributes.