Since the mid 1970's, RANDY GREIF has been pushing the boundaries of auditory arts, often incorporating electronic, computer and concrete music with spoken word, "sound theater", and field recordings. Location recordings in places such as Amazonia, New Guinea, and Thailand have found their way, often manipulated, into some of Greif's music, branding it as "tribal" electronics. Trademark styles are dense layers of atmospherics, cut-up vocals, and shifting minimal rhythms. "Dark" and "hallucinatory" are often used to describe the overall tone of his work.
In 1983 Greif started SWINGING AXE PRODUCTIONS (SAP) to release his own work and those of like-minded artists. During the first few years a handful of cassette-only releases were available, including Controlled Bleeding, Merzbow, Illusion Of Safety, and various alias names Greif was recording under. CLEM reviewed "It's In A Box" his first cassette release as "one of the top 3 tapes to come out stateside... it rivals anything put out by Sterile or United Dairies." As for Screaming Dukduks (an early alias) which was released simultaneously with "It's In A Box" CLEM said "...a purely shocking tape...sucks you in then mesmerizes you."
The cassettes to follow were received with similar positive reviews. Besides releasing more cassettes of strictly music, Greif released more conceptual and crossover work. A collaboration with writer Alva Svoboda titled "East Green Proof" used Svoboda's disturbing poems in which his readings were manipulated and set against electronic atmospheres. The Magnetic Spine Review / Wireless Spine Review invited sound artists from around the world to call a telephone answering machine and do a 30-second performance which was amplified for a live audience.
Also released was location recordings from Papua New Guinea which featured not only indigenous music but folk stories, theater and a church meeting in Pidgin English. This was the first of several such releases, the other two being from Amazonia and Thailand.
The first album done for another label was his "Bacteria and Gravity" for the RRR label in 1987 on which the second side is one long piece filled with tribal rhythms, other-worldly voices and odd sounds such a bullfrog and car horn. Shortly after this release, Greif teamed up with Mikail Bohonus of WarWorld to form STATIC EFFECT who performed improvisationally around loosely defined musical structures. They toured North America and Canada and released a number of cassettes and vinyl before disbanding in 1990. By this time Greif had begun work on his most ambitious project to date--a 6 hour musical and textural setting for Lewis Carroll's "Alice In Wonderland". The spoken text is often deconstructed into phonemes of pure sound and then returned to recognizable words. This project took 5 years and the CDs were released serially on the Staalplaat label in special packaging. Reviewers had the following to say about the series -
"...as close to the dream experience as music ever gets."
"Disturbing and nightmarish..."
"has to be heard to be believed...I've never heard such an entertaining album..."
"Randy Greif has taken the Lewis Carroll classic and brought it to levels never before imaginable."
"All five CDs deserve to go down in history as a classic..."
For more visit Swinging Axe webpage
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Great droning elecronics/experimental work!
More to follow!
get it here