Steve Reich

Reich Remixed

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Since he's one of the most influential classical composers for later electronica producers, it's only natural that Steve Reich should get his own remix collection, to file alongside Pierre Henry and others. This ten-track collection includes some of the most respected new producers in the field -- from beat veterans Coldcut, Howie B and Kurtis Mantronik to relative newcomers Andrea Parker and Nobukazu Takemura (aka Child's View) -- dissecting the gorgeous sounds of Reich classics like "Music for 18 Musicians" and "Come Out" for a younger audience. And though it's difficult to think of Reich's usual followers appreciating these remixes for what they are, the cast is one of the best for a remix album in recent memory. Coldcut's version of "Music for 18 Musicians" is quite faithful, retaining the luxuriant waves of sound that make the original one of the best-sounding pieces of music ever recorded. Kurtis Mantronik, one of the best hip-hop producers of all time, puts his legendary drum programming abilities to the test by taking on "Drumming," Reich's study of African percussion. Two of the tracks, by Tranquility Bass and DJ Spooky, are megamixes that use material from several different Reich compositions. There have been far too many subpar remix albums in the late '90s devoted to bands who don't deserve them, but Reich Remixed is both a worthy cause and an excellent production.

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