If you don’t know Steve Reich (pronounced reish, not rike), you should! He’s one of the founding fathers of minimalism. This is one of his stranger pieces I’ve seen, but I figured those who appreciate odd electronic music would love how primitive and visceral it is.
If you’re unfamiliar with Steve Reich, this is a great place to start below:
Made in 1965, this piece above uses a clip of a street preacher, isolating “It’s gonna rain!” and repeating it over and over again, eventually phasing into stereo with one going slower than the other, drifting apart into rhythmic phasing and semantic satiation.
This phasing would become Reich’s calling card, especially in later pieces like the notoriously simple yet nearly impossible to play Piano Phase piece.
If you look closely at these players, they are sweating BULLETS to try to stay together and play the piece correctly. You could learn how to play the basic line in maybe 10 minutes, even if you were new to piano. But imagine very, very smoothly playing this over and over again drifting apart ever so slightly from a partner.
Here’s a version of the same piece played on modular with an ER-101 guiding it.
I know that pieces like this must’ve been a huge influence on this great modern band Dawn of MIDI who, like Reich, try to replicate the sounds typically thought only possible with computer-aided composition.
Post your favorite Reich and Reich-inspired pieces below!