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Reich Remixed: Minimalism and DJ Culture


Carter, D, Reich Remixed: Minimalism and DJ Culture, Context: A Journal of Music Research, (37) pp. 37-53. ISSN 1038-4006 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 David Carter

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In 1999 Nonesuch records commissioned and released a CD containing selected works of ‘Minimalist’ composer Steve Reich, remixed by prominent Electronica artists. Reich Remixed was billed as an homage to the father of DJ / remix culture and the liner notes cite Reich as ‘the original re-mixer’, stating boldly ‘mass culture has finally caught up to and embraced the fringe ideas that Reich was exploring in the 1960s'. This is an association with which Reich is not uncomfortable, commenting on the DJ-as-remixer that ‘here's a generation that doesn't just like what I do, they appropriate it!’. This paper examines Howie B's remix of Steve Reich's Eight Lines as one example of the similarities, contrasts, confluences and lines of influence between the musical and aesthetic concerns of Minimalism and Electronica. An analysis of Bernstein’s remix bears out strong congruencies between Reich and Bernstein's compositional aesthetics and techniques. However, while Bernstein’s use of Reich’s Eight Lines as source material has had an obvious influence on the content, form and rhythmic construction of the remix, Bernstein has not engaged with Reich’s material in a manner that is outside the scope of his usual creative practice. Consequently, this paper challenges the notion made in the liner notes of the Reich Remixed CD that Minimalism has somehow ‘filtered into the consciousness’ of Electronica and suggests the need for a more clear and reliable scholarly documentation of the history of electronic music in the context of popular culture in the latter part of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Electronica; Minimalism; Music; Remix; Technology
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Music
Research Field:Musicology and ethnomusicology
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Music
UTAS Author:Carter, D (Dr Dave Carter)
ID Code:83174
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2013-03-04
Last Modified:2018-03-13
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

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