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James Cargill of Broadcast's solo debut as Children of Alice overflows with life

"Children of Alice"

Release date: 24 February 2017
Children of Alice Children of Alice
01 March 2017, 15:47 Written by Slavko Bucifal
Children of Alice’s debut is a patchwork of mini ambient soundscapes that run the gamut of emotions.

The four track album - masterminded by James Cargill, formerly of Broadcast - is a journey into experimental worlds with off kilter noise, odd samples and various blips and bleeps that combine with real world sound fragments in short, 30 second mini-motifs strung together for what seems like an eternity. At least, that's the case with the epic, 20-minute opener “The Harbinger Spring”, which starts with the clamor of bells and whistles but ends with a woman singing while seemingly underwater.

The experience makes one ponder the very structure of reality, given the seemingly chaotic approach to musical composition. Yet strangely, the constant movement of sound into small bitesize chunks is highly satisfying in the same way a full length experimental electronic track might be. The effect is like taking a recording of traditional flute music, condensing all the textures and layers for a minute while retaining the methodical pace, and repeating the process over and over again. Bizarre but excellent.

Children of Alice, the name a tribute a former band member’s love of Alice in Wonderland, is a true art record in that the process undergone to make such music is a journey in and of itself. This self-titled debut sounds like it was absolutely exhausting to make, which is why we listen to music of this sort in the first place; the struggle and challenge presented here is worthy our attention if not for pleasure’s sake alone, but for the varied breadth of emotion that each mini soundtrack evokes. Everything from mystery, happiness, even sexually charged tension happens in an instant.

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