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Boomkat Product Review:
Newly reissued on Superior Viaduct with Cover photography by artist Michael Snow
'Four Organs' / 'Phase Patterns' are two of Steve Reich's earliest recordings and were originally released in 1970 on the French label Shandar. They still sound magnificent, futuristic and elemental today, some 40 years since they were first realised.
With 'Four Organs' Reich applies the idea of slowing down a piece of sound until many times its original length without changing pitch or timbre. In it, Jon Gibson's maracas play a fast eighth note pulse while the four organs - played by Steve Chambers, Philip Glass, Art Murphy and Reich - stress certain notes using an 11th chord, creating a hypnotic cycle with trance-inducing rhythmic subtlety. 'Phase Patterns' follows a similar schematic, sans maracas and was Reich's first piece to be performed in a large traditional setting.