In 1994, Plunderphonics composer John Oswald released a nearly two hour reconstruction of Grateful Dead’s “Dark Star”, per the request of bassist Phil Lesh. By chopping and layering over one hundred different performances of the song, recorded between 1968 and 1993, Oswald created one of the longest, strangest (and, hell, perhaps even the best) trips in the Dead cannon. As he explained in a 1995 interview:
Phil Lesh called me up and talked me into doing it. At that point, I hadn’t listened to any Grateful Dead music in about twenty years. I did think I was qualified, because I do think it’s often a good idea to come into a project without a lot of prior knowledge and get kind of an alien’s overview of what the music seems to be, and then put in your own two cents of what you think it should be. And I think that was the case for this. During the course of working on it, I went to a couple of Grateful Dead concerts, but other than that, I haven’t listened to anything except these hundred versions of “Dark Star” that I found in the vaults.