One of the greatest works of early Minimalism was Steve Reich's original "Violin Phase" on Columbia Masterworks, as played by the great contemporary violinist Paul Zukofsky. The other side of that long out-of-print LP was the massive electronic freakout "It's Gonna Rain," Reich's looped-out phasing of a park preacher's (or derelict's) ravings, which can be heard here along with Reich's first seminal electronic piece, "Come Out." While these are pure electronic works, they also possess their own kind of political content, especially "Come Out," which samples a snippet of some anonymous inner city youth's deadpan description of his experience ("I had to... like open the bruise up...") while in police custody. In classic '60s radical fashion, Reich had an ear for black speech, its rhythm and cadence, which then could serve as raw material for his loops. Also here is Reich's first work for instruments, "Six Pianos," which became "Six Marimbas," bracing and exhilirating as the Reichian "phase" process unfolds.
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