24 January 2009

Steve Reich - 1974, 1986 - Mallets

Quality: 5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 5 out of 5

I have to admit that this is probably my most listened to of Steve Reich's highly regarded body of minimalist works. While I'm often a sucker for lots of strange instrumentation, I feel like composers in this genre are often at their best when confined to a small selection of instruments. As the track titles explicitly tell you what you'll hear, this music fits that bill.

First off is "Six Marimbas." "Under My Thumb" is one of my favorite Stones songs, so it may be no surprise that I have an affinity for the marimba sound. The track has sort of a jungle-like, monkeys banging around sound. At first it may even seem like a new age song, but where that genre would start slathering on the cheeseball melodies, Reich plunges deeper into the jungle with the relentless marimba rhythms. I'm not quite as big a fan of the second track, but it is still top flight Reich work, with the mallet work once again taking center stage as the other instruments add a variety of color. As good as it is, this one more overtly recalls Reich's seminal Music For 18 Musicians (you should probably go here if you are new to Reich).

This is the kind of music that I can listen to all day. It is wonderful as background music, but really starts to shine brightly if you are willing to give your attention to the myriad of texture and tonal variety.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://rapidshare.com/files/187666570/Mallets.rar

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing

Jeff said...

Thanks for the Reich. Can never have enough. My favourite piece is Bruise Blood, 1st listened in @ 69 on an LP from some American University album of electronic music, wish I had that album or name.

larryepke said...

Jeff, the piece you're refering to is "Come Out", originally released on Odyssey records lp. 32-16-0160. I know it later came out on the Elektra/Nonesuch "Early Works" with other early Reich pieces such as "It's Gonna Rain."

Simon666 said...

Hi Dr Schluss,
Many thanks for this.
"Mallet Instruments, Voice and Organ" has always been one of my favourite pieces of his. Kinda rediscovering this music after being very into it in the 80s ... so your files have replaced a very. very dusty cassette that hasn't been opened in quite some time :) Thanks again.

Executive Dreamer said...

Haven't heard this in quite some time. Thanks for reminding me!

Anonymous said...

Gracias!, es el tipo de musica que estaba buscando...

Jonno! said...

Thanks for sharing this

Anonymous said...

c'mon, two tracks?! that's it?

AJ said...

Check out the latest interview with Steve Reich including an overview of his work with his wife Beryl Korot, and an exclusive sound clip of his newest work, "2X5": "Steve Reich | Beryl Korot: Two Arts Beating As One".

machinemusic.org » Blog Archive » American Experimental Music: Amy C. Beal’s New Music, New Allies said...

[...] New Music New Allies focuses on noted composers John Cage, David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Steve Reich, and Pauline Oliveros to name but a few. [...] trackback

Anonymous said...

Link are dead.

Anonymous said...

hey,
could you post a new download link?
thy!

Anonymous said...

reupload please,this album is a masterpiece!!! thx a lot.