Rework: Philip Glass Remixed
Orange Mountain Music/Ernest Jenning Record Co./The Kora
Nov 02, 2012 Web Exclusive
With over four decades’ worth of recordings under his belt, the prolific minimalist composer Philip Glass has a vast, fascinating body of work ripe for examination and consideration, and a conversation between Beck and Glass sparked just such a project. The two-disc Rework offers remixes from a dozen artists; with the strongest efforts well worth revisiting, the set never serves less than to pique curiosity in the original compositions.
Beck’s “NYC: 73 – 78” is easily the most ambitious of the lot, culling over 20 works from that time span for a seamless, 21-minute suite featuring Beck’s vocals. Amon Tobin succeeds in bringing an intriguing rhythm to the fore with “Wanda’s Whorehouse,” from Glass’ score for Jean Genet’s The Screens, while the delicate voices of “Étoile Polaire” become club-ready over Silver Alert’s beats.
For anyone who embraced the opera Einstein on the Beach but found the recitation of numbers maddening in “Knee 1,” Nosaj Thing places the melody rather than the vocals at the fore. Voices are absent on Dan Deacon’s “Alight Spiral Snip,” an engrossing, roiling, dense mesh of sonic textures.
“Rubric” is the type of Glass work that’s nearly too daunting for a straight run-through. Ty Braxton doesn’t come close to that approach, punching splashes of samples over a rubbery thump that plays like a “Rubric” taster. It’s as funky as Philip Glass might ever get, but be sure to experience the breathtaking brass blizzard of the original as well. (www.philipglass.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 9/10