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Riley: Reed Streams, Untitled Organ, In C / Boudreau

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Audio CD, April 20, 1999
$43.90 $7.20

Editorial Reviews

Thanks to the Cortical Foundation, the lost works of minimalist kingpin Terry Riley are finally seeing light of day. It's truly a revelation. Take Reed Streams, Riley's first LP, originally released in an edition of 1,000 on the Mass Art label in 1966. Consisting of Untitled Organ and Dorian Reeds--both remastered here from their original tapes--the album marked the first appearance of Riley's Time Lag Accumulator (the composer's system for making tape loops). The first piece is hypnotic, with Riley's rapid keyboard notes softly pulsating over the course of its 20-minute span, never really letting up. "Dorian Reeds" takes a similar approach, but furthers the use of tape recorders. The effect is dizzying, varied, and almost jazzy. Riley's sax solos meld into each other to create multilayered collages of varying intensity. Notes are extended and solo passages sneak out, but the piece works best as a whole: a giant New Music traffic jam of car horns. But perhaps the real gem on this disc is the bonus of 1970's In C (Mantra). Here, Riley's seminal work is performed by a Montreal collective through a psychedelic haze. Electric bass, a drum kit, and a rock sensibility enter into the fold, giving new life and imparting a wild flair to a composition that wasn't so tame to begin with. A truly unique, great recording. --Jason Verlinde
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