Steve Reich is still doing his thang, announces new album Pulse/Quartet on Nonesuch

Steve Reich is still doing his thang, announces new album Pulse/Quartet on Nonesuch

It’s a feeling rare enough to go unnoticed, but that shouldn’t preclude its ultimate awesomeness: first you discover the pinnacle work of an influential musician/composer, and then you discover, some 40 years after that initial piece was composed or recorded, that the musician/composer is still around and STILL making music arguably on par with the stuff that garnered him or her a legendary reputation in the first place!

Not unlike Brian Eno — who is still admirably trying to match the influence of his works that began in the early 70s — Steve Reich has been out there studiously avoiding the limelight and releasing notable pieces of an immersive, hypnotic, and/or so-called “minimalist” bent since the mid 60s. True, everybody and their mother with the dangerously low blood pressure has seemingly dabbled in ambient music by now, but those distinctive pulsing waves of sound for which Reich has become known? That “scene” (if you want to call it that) doesn’t seem to get a lot of that good h-y-p-e here in the 21st century.

Maybe those hypnotically lapping tides will turn soon, though, because Reich has announced that he’ll be pulsing out a brand new album via the Nonesuch label on February 2. It’s called Pulse/Quartet, a verbal amalgam of two pieces that premiered in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

Concerning the differences between Pulse and Quartet, Reich has noted that the former is something of a foil to the latter, given that “Pulse” is a “calmer more contemplative piece,” while “Quartet” confuses the brain until your mind images are a rendition of Alice and her psychotropic plunge. (You can listen to the track “Quartet: III. Fast” below.)

In keeping with Reich’s propensity for all-things-out-of-phase, the vinyl version of Pulse/Quartet will be released two months after the CD + digital version, on March 30. You can pre-order either right here any old time that suits you, though.

Pulse/Quartet tracklisting:

01. Pulse
02. Quartet: I. Fast
03. Quartet: II. Slow
04. Quartet: III. Fast

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