Working together as a post-Broadcast transition, Children of Alice is comprised of the band’s James Cargill and longtime keyboardist Roj Stevens alongside Julian House (The Focus Group, Ghost Box Records). The album acts essentially as an extension of the work that was done on the final Broadcast album proper, Investigate Witch Cults of The Radio Age, an album on which they also found inspiration through collaboration with House. Following the tragic passing of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan, both Stevens and Cargill joined House on The Focus Group’s 2013 album, Elektrik Carousel. Clearly the three found solace in each others’ explorations of a Radiophonic universe populated by wonder, ingenuity and a quivering sense of menace.
The band itself is named for the late Keenan’s love of Jonathan Miller’s adaptation of Alice In Wonderland and it does maintain that sensibility of dropping into a world that seems to operate on different principles from our own and yet sparkle with strange delights. The record buzzes with a clockwork hum, feeling every bit a diorama of childhood wonder on opener “The Harbinger of Spring.” As the record progresses it slips down it’s slope of pent up menace, disorienting and stripping away some of the innocence that the opener unfolds. The deeper into the world of Children of Alice you go, the more it seems like you might just wind up lost there. It’s a headphone record of the highest order and closing your eyes allows a flickering 8mm world to burn behind the eyelids. The three have pretty deep catalogs but it’s clear that in each other they’ve found something essential, unusual and riveting.
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