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Reich Remixed

18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 2, 1999
$16.89 $1.73

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


The beauty of Steve Reich's minimalist compositions can be found not in their repetition but in their evolution. Listening to the Kronos Quartet perform Different Trains, the listener quickly gets over the camp value of the conductor samples to discover an unfolding theme that harks back not only to bustling industrialism but also to the horror of the Nazi concentration-camp trains. Reich is a master of such subtle changes in sonics, and his impeccable timing turns simple phrases into musical tapestries. On Reich Remixed, some of dance music's more innovative artists pay homage to the composer in the way they know best: by sampling his works and remixing them into their own. Coldcut's take on Music for 18 Musicians adds a fast-paced techno flair to the classic composition, Howie B's Eight Lines respectfully keeps the integrity of the original piece, and Tranquility Bass peppers "Megamix" with voices and (eventually) beats. There are some misses here, and, most unfortunate, DJ Spooky's schizophrenic treatment of City Life lobotomizes a previously fine composition. No, you still can't dance to Reich, but you can see how others use him for source material. But after hearing these condensed and diced versions, you might find it's worth delving back into Reich's originals to hear what the fuss is all about. --Jason Verlinde

1. Music For 18 Musicians (Coldcut Remix) - Steve Reich
2. Eight Lines (Howie B Remix) - Bang On A Can/Bradley Lubman
3. The Four Sections (Andrea Parker Remix) - London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
4. Megamix (Tranquility Bass Remix) - Steve Reich/London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas/Theatre Of Voices...
5. Drumming (Mantronik Maximum Drum Formula) - Steve Reich
6. Proverb (Nobukazu Takemura Remix) - Theatre Of Voices
7. Piano Phase (D*Note's Phased & Konfused Mix) - Double Edge
8. City Life (DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid Open Circuit) - The Steve Reich Ensemble/Bradley Lubman
9. Come Out (Ken Ishii Remix) - Steve Reich
10. Bonus Track 1 - Various Artists

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 2, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00000I5LV
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,342 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy York on September 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
A few of the remixers do a decent job of understanding Reich's music and translating it to a technobeat, but none of them really "get it" I think. Nobody works with rhythms that gradually go in and out of phase with each other, nobody works with songs that very gradually evolve and change...
If you like both Reich and techno, you'll probably enjoy trying to identify the sources of the sounds, and there are sometimes some surprising and pleasing results from juxtaposition of Reich recordings. If you like techno, it's a good techno cd, but you won't really learn anything about Reich. If you're expecting something where the remixers are reaching artistically, trying to elaborate upon and learn from Reich's compositions, I think you'll be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gavin Wilson on June 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Of all modern classical composers, Steve Reich is the one whose music is most likely to attract the rock-oriented ear. 'Music for 18 Musicians' was a ground-breaking album which closed out the 1970s, and it took much of the audience that had been nurtured on Tangerine Dream's 'Ricochet' and, before that, Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'. It was only to be expected that other artists would start sampling Reich's works.
I can't get enough of 'Music for 18 Musicians' -- I bought it on LP in 1979, and two versions on CD. It is my No. 1 self-hypnosis album. So I was intrigued to discover how it would be re-worked for this album. I was disappointed, frankly. The Coldcut Remix provides no evidence that the DJ has listened beyond the first five minutes of the original.
But there's no heresy in modifying Reich's music. I welcome every effort to do so. I knew about half of the pieces selected here, so, for me, it's partly a Reich sampler. The great thing about the album is that not only did it get me buying more of Reich's output, but it also got me listening more to the originals.
For me, the stand-out track here is 'Piano Phase', which applies prog-rock values to a piece I didn't know at all well. It could so easily be Rick Wakeman or Keith Emerson playing the synth lines over the piano loop!
The opening track has grown on me over the years. At first listen, the Megamix seemed to have too many different samples crowded in; it seemed too ambitious in searching for common musical themes between no fewer than nine of Reich's albums. But now it flows nicely.
The closing track, supposedly based on the Desert Music, is a straightforward techno track, almost Prodigy-like, whose relationship to Reich's music seems entirely tangential.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Huntley Russell on April 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The entrancing hobby of looping gave birth to essencially all forms of techno in existence today, and all followers should be thankful Steve Reich's cassette tapes messed up one day to create a looping effect. He soon became obsessed with overlapping sounds and varying tempos, a basic foundation for modern day electronic music. Such is the reason why a wide variety of artists came together to create a tribute album to this obscure classical composer, and the end result is a diamond in the rough.

If "Reich Remixed" has any style permeating through the whole album, it is the esoteric sounds of trance. Each track brings in a sentimental mourning, but also sings out hosannas of joy, hailing the appreciation of the father of techno. Tranquility Bass's "Megamix", succeeding fully in painting a mural of Reich's repertoire, Coldcut's loving recreation of "Music for 18 Musicians", and Howie B's "Eight Lines" tribute will draw you in with their joyful melodies. Yet darkness lies ahead as well. Andrea Parker brings in a creepy Trip-Hop version of "The Four Sections", perfect for committing a bank robbery if you get off on that. The bonus track from freQ Nasty & B.L.I.M. has the rough sound of Drum n' Bass without corrupting the original message, although it sounds a bit out of place on this album. The masterpiece is Nobukazu Takemura's "Proverb", which stacks the voices in one loop, which will make one double check the CD for scratches. It not only holds true to what Reich was attempting, but re-interprets.

To those who were already die-hard Reich fans, a word of caution. This CD will sound repititive, perhaps even like cheap rip-offs of the original tracks, as they cannot possibly recreate the massive pieces Reich composed in six or seven minutes of CD time.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Lobos on January 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Choosing electronic/(post-)techno artists less dancefloor-oriented but more original(e.g Monolake,Ryoji Ikeda,Oval....)would surely have given better results. Although Reich's music is inherently rhythm-based, its dynamic textures are too complex and subtle for a simple drumloop to add anything new and interesting (the definition of a remix!).Stay with the originals......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By snowleopard on December 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
If you're into electronica, and have some knowledge, or interest in Steve Reich, I think you'll probably find this album interesting and give you an idea what Reich is like. It takes samples, or segments of Reich pieces, and puts them mostly to techno beats. But as another reviewer said, this album doesn't really capture a lot of the essence of Reich's music, as the music is almost all pure techno or IDM, and eschews phase, counterpoint, or the evolving, multi-chord style that marks the crux of Reich's contribution to music history.

What would be nice to see is a Part II, or a sequel to this of sorts, that isn't quite as much pop based, but one a little truer to Reich's style while not being afraid of synthesizers, samplers, drum machines etc. Perhaps similar to Tangerine Dream's "The Dream is Always the Same", or Peter Gabriel's "No Self Control", or some or Robert Fripp's "Frippertronics" - all music inspired by Reich from over 20 years ago now. I'd venture to think some techno/trance musicians such as FSL, Robert Henke (Monolake), even someone like Midnight Syndicate could make great remixes from Reich cues.
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