Thursday 31 July 2008

I've been listening to some Steve Reich lately. Conditioned to expect extended melodic and harmonic development and a diversity of themes in the music I like best (apart from blues, where the stuff I like best is basically the same 12-bar boogie going on and on and on) I find myself grappling with this music a lot. It substitutes layering and slow, phased variations for the qualities I'm more used to listening for. In a sense it has links to the drones of Carnatic music, without the virtuoso improv layered over those drones, and I can begin to trace how this music has had an impact on people whose music I do like and respect, like Robert Fripp or the drone metal movement. It's very krautrock, too, although that seems to have been more a parallel development. This interview with Reich is a really good ear-opener as well.