Given the recent upsurge in interest in percussive music from West Africa, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Nonesuch has taken the decision to reissue Steve Reich’s Drumming, the minimalist maestro’s 1971 masterpiece. Recorded in Ghana with local musicians and here presented in freshly re-mastered form, the album’s four pieces act as a bridge between his austere and experimental early work and the later compositions – most notably the peerless Music For 18 Musicians – for which he’s most famous. The genesis of the latter can be heard amongst the phased marimbas and female voices of “Part II” and the chiming glockenspiels of “Part III”. While undoubtedly brilliant, it’s the album’s more percussive moments – the heavy bongos of “Part I” and the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink “Part IV” – that hit home hardest.
Cat: NS 79170
09 Aug 17
Style: Post Modern, Contemporary