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Early Works

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iTunes Review

Though Steve Reich's trailblazing minimalist compositions have had a huge impact on everything from rock to electronica, Reich didn't really reach an audience beyond the avant-garde cognoscenti until the '70s. The pieces collected here from his early career—mostly from the '60s—eventually became influential, but they remained a kind of buried treasure for years. As with most great minimalism, the simplicity of these compositions is simultaneously disarming and devastating. "Come Out" manipulates a tape of the voice of a young man caught up in the Harlem Riot of 1964, looping a single phrase into aural abstraction. "It's Gonna Rain" achieves a similar effect, with the voice of a Pentecostal preacher delivering an apocalyptic sermon. "Piano Phase" takes a more conventionally "musical" performance approach to the same idea; two pianists start playing in unison but gradually grow further and further apart to create a dazzling tapestry of ostinato lines. "Clapping" is ostensibly the simplest of all, applying the basic concept behind "Piano Phase" to two pairs of human hands coming together and drifting apart.

Customer Reviews

Want some acid?

okay, first of all don't bother with the album unless you're interested in either minimalism or just wanting to hear some crazy stuff. Steve Reich is a genius, no doubt and this is a wonderful example of the begining of his creativity. Five Stars! Juggalofriesen


Having grown up on the mathematical, interlacing loops of Orbital I was blown away when I first heard this music. Reich achieves hypnotic effects through repitition and the harmonics produced through his "phasing" technique. To accomplish this without modern sequencers or samplers is inspirational. In later work Reich's pieces are performed by entire orchestras, but for me these pared down, experimental works are the more powerful.

Early Works

Amazing and psychedelic. this recording will teach you alot about hearing.


Born: October 3, 1936 in New York, NY

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A highly influential avant-garde composer and one of the key founders of the minimalist school of music, Steve Reich has embraced a wide variety of musical styles and interests, forging from them a unique synthesis. Reich took piano lessons as a youngster, but his first big musical revelations came at 14, when he encountered the music of Bach and Stravinsky. He also had his first exposure to bebop, and immediately started learning drums and playing in a jazz band with friends. He played on weekends...
Full Bio

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