Steve Reich Music
Chris Hughes
"Play quietly" the liner notes suggest. We're in ambient territory. Noted producer Chris Hughes (Tears For Fears, Robert Plant, etc.) has based this album on works by seminal composer Steve Reich, however, so it's a genuinely intelligent deconstruction of rhythm and sound patterns rather than mere New Age meanderings.

Of course, one man and his Synclavier in 1994 is much less impressive than was Reich 20-odd years ago, but the computerised gamelan sequences, loops and phases are still both intriguing and hypnotic. And yes, this is the same Chris Hughes who drummed on Adam & The Ants' Kings Of The Wild Frontier. Good for him.

Rip It Up
Chris Hughes
From The Music Of Steve Reich
This is ambient music so if you don't dig this stuff read something else right now. I found this to be a fantastic work of love. It's the delicate, intricate mathematics of the soul. On the inside cover it said 'play quietly', so I did and immediately it soothed me. I was amazed at the way it opened me up when I meditated to it and for a few seconds I didn't think I was coming back.

Being honest, I've never really delved that deep into this stuff before and most of the New Age music I'd heard seemed too contrived. This, however, struck... seamless sounds of intelligence and clarity. So ..., so... calm that I felt immediately at peace. Each piece here is an incredibly thought out and well executed example of music.

The piece called Shift (in four parts) and Slow Motion Blackbird are directly derived from the works of Steve Reich... [with] a Reich instrumentation to "very gradually slow down a recorded sound so many times its original length without changing its pitch or time scale at all", and that's exactly what Chris Hughes did to profound results.

This extraordinary piece of work is brought to you by a man who started out as one of the drummers in Adam & The Ants (which I LOVED!) to become one of the UK's most sought after producers. He's worked with Tears For Fears, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and Wang Chung, and as a drummer he played with Peter Gabriel and Enya.

You'll probably find this intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable listening whether you like this kind of music or not. I'll give you the same advice the bio-brief gave me: "melt into the sofa, close your eyes, relax and listen". Do it!!
NAZZ (aga)