Three early compositions (1968-1970) by Steve Reich, one of the most prolific exponents of minimal music, in stunning interpretations by the critically-acclaimed Ensemble Avantgarde. Available on vinyl for the first time ever. Steve Reich (born 1936) is undoubtedly one of the key figures in 20th century contemporary music, and along with Terry Riley or Philip Glass, one of the founding fathers of so-called minimal music. With classics like “18 Musicians,” “Drumming,” or “Different Trains,” the American composer proved himself one of “a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history” (The Guardian). The four pieces on this collection date back to the time before his famous masterpieces (1967-1970): “Four Organs” and “Phase Patterns” build on short, repeated patterns that gradually go in and out of phase with each other, creating “a shimmering matrix of sound that is both hypnotic and fascinating in detail” (Allmusic.com) and anticipate Reich’s later trademark sound. “Pendulum Music” is a process piece where only a few starting parameters are given: four microphones are suspended within an array of amplifiers and speakers, then set in motion — the shifts in feedback as they move in space create the music, and the results differ with each new performance (as can be experienced listening to the two versions here). Reich’s early works are presented on this LP in stunning interpretations by Leipzig-based Ensemble Avantgarde, whose dedicated, inspired renditions of essential masterpieces of modernism (documented on CDs on reputed labels such as Wergo or Hat Hut Records) won them the Ernst von Siemens Foundation Prize and the Schneider-Schott Prize of Mainz. 180 gram, gatefold sleeve, download code. Ensemble Avantgarde: Steffen Schleiermacher (organ, piano, electronics), Josef Christof (organ, piano), Michael Obst (organ), Klaus Steffes-Holl=C3=A4nder (organ), Stefan Stopora (maracas), and Martin Demmler (electronics).