Customer Reviews: Grayfolded 1 & 2
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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on March 27, 2002
A 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.
And 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.
In 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.
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on December 10, 2002
For Dark Star fans(and I understand there are a few of us)this is IT(so far).
Almost 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.
You know you need this set!.
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on February 23, 2006
Let 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.

Since 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.
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VINE VOICEon October 11, 2010
I'm going to be the odd one out here. I'm not a Grateful Dead fan; they do nothing for me. However, I'm a big fan of John Oswald's experimental plunderphonics, and a fan of ambient music and prog rock (amongst other things).

Approached with no knowledge of the source material, Grayfolded is an intriguing slice of ambient noodling. The edits work almost subliminally; it sounds like it could be an actual live performance, except every now and again there are hints that something isn't quite right.

It's a long way from the savagery of Oswald's "Plunderphonics"; it's almost a transitional work to his "Aparenthesi", which assembles almost an hour of a single note from environmental sounds and musical textures.

So like Eno's ambient music, there's enough going on here that your attention can be satisfied, but not too much to prevent focusing on other things. Recommended.
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on May 7, 2012
The playing on this album comes from far-away phenomenal places, assembled with mastery into a tapestry of flavor. Oh yes, boys and girls, this is a record to float to, or to meditate, or to fall asleep to. Beautiful.
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on April 1, 2007
If 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!
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on June 9, 2013
A 2 hour version of Dark Star compiled over years into this single seemless version. It was never preformed and for that losses a little something but offers a few things that could have never been preformed. The most notable is that prolonged note sung. I like it and find it hard to start without having 2 hours set aside to let it play however it may not be for everyone.
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on March 26, 2010
Dark Star through the ages- a unique way to listen to the Dead performing one of their most hallowed songs over multiple shows-simultaneously!! The disc is one seamless continuation of music culled from many different shows, in which the producer layers show on top of show, creating a new take on and old favorite. The disc follows a general structure of the original, but is distinctly different as a piece of music. It's very cool hearing tracks from '89 blend into '69, by way of '73, '90 and '70 in the mix as well. Some may enjoy the disc all the way through, although it can get a bit repetitive. But many sections are incredibly cool that any DeadHead will enjoy. This is probably for the most Deadicated of fans, the ones who already own large quantities of live Dead and are on the bus, and are looking for something new with their favorite music. Great for watching fractals by!
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on May 19, 2014
this is it. for anyone who has wanted the best in deadhead space, this is it. this seamless excurtion will blow your mind. it makes my own guitar layered tracks all the more grateful to me, because of bands like the Grateful Dead.
this is a GREAT musical trip.
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on August 19, 2015
As another review emphasized: This is NOT Dark Star.
I knew that, but I was hopeful that there was enough DS there for me to enjoy this.
You can recognize the DS sounds, but the sounds are there in service of a different concept, not DS.
For me, that other concept is not particularly interesting, and there is just not enough of what I enjoy about DS.
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