Steve Reich - Drumming
(Superior Viaduct)

Superior Viaduct presents the first proper reissue of Steve Reich's seminal masterpiece Drumming. There's not much to say about Steve Reich that hasn't already been said. He is one of the quintessential minimalist composers of the 20th century, an archetype for modern classical music who's name will forever be synonymous with the transcendental properties of musical repitition. However at the time that Drumming was first released, Reich's reputation was mostly unknown to those outside the very small experimental music community. After studying the traditional music of Ghana in 1970, Reich returned to the United States with a renewed and expanded sense of rhythm alongside the power of simplicity. The result was a composition written for a nine piece percussion and female vocal ensemble that relied upon his phase shifting techniques that he utilized in his previous works as well as his renewed fascination in the power of polyrhythm as learned in Ghana. Drumming first premiered in December of 1971 and the third performance was recorded and released as the definitive version of the composition. Alongside Terry Riley's A Rainbow In Curved Air, La Monte Young's Dreamhouse and Tony Conrad + Faust's Outside The Dream SyndicateDrumming needs to be seen as what it truly is; a pillar of the minimalist genre. A work so all encompassing that it would be impossible to appropriately define or describe the aesthetics of this approach to music without its inclusion. Reich has maintained a long career of watershed moments but Drumming is his key composition within his invaluable musical ideology. (Adam)
Check out the piece in its entirety here.