“Alchemical Playschool” is easily one of the most unusual Legendary Pink Dots albums ever released. Based on the Soleilmoon double CD “Indian Soundscapes”, these recordings are best enjoyed with a cold glass of Bhang Ki Thandai, following which the operation of heavy equipment or motor vehicles is strongly discouraged. Yes, this a trippy, psychedelic album, in the tradition of the Dots’ “Chemical Playschool” albums, but it’s been dusted with magical powders from The Orient, making it an altogether different experience from its predecessors. As experimental and esoteric works go, this is the band’s definitive work. The album was conceivedin 2004, following a Legendary Pink Dots tour. Edward Ka-Spel met with Soleilmoon owner Charles Powne, who had recently returned from a stay in India. Charles gave Edward a copy of his “Indian Soundscapes” 2xCD, and invited him to take the material and use it in a new Dots recording. The resulting music borrows lightly from the source material, deftly blends it with the band’s signature electronic wizardry, and distills a potent brew redolent with the aromas of saffron, cardamom and flowers. We think you’ll find it both irresistible and unforgettable.
Here the Dots-core of Edward Kaspel and Phil Knight rework environmental sound-material recorded in India (by Charles Powne of Soleilmoon records, the original recordings are available on CD as Indian Soundscapes). In doing so the Dots create a beautiful dreamscape. The four long tracks (parts one to four) evoke scenes of the East with street sounds, crowd noises, voices and field recordings drifting in and out. At times the results are pastoral and on other occasions downright hectic – just as you’d imagine India to sound like. Part Four, with its beautiful voice sample and washes of sound, forms the highlight of this fascinating album. Alchemical Playschool is welcome proof that the Dots are still willing and able to create exiting experimental music.
–Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
“Alchemical Playschool” was first released in 2006 CD in a hand-carved soapstone box, and again in 2007 as a double 10 inch record in a gatefold sleeve made of recycled sugarcane waste. Both were costly limited editions, making the music accessible only to the most dedicated fans. With this new edition the price is friendly, but the superior packaging that defines Soleilmoon is still there, this time as silk finished gatefold softpack and high gloss eight page booklet
……Sing while you may!