Electric Counterpoint  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Electric Counterpoint is a minimalist composition written by American composer Steve Reich. The piece consists of three movements, "Fast", "Slow", and "Fast". The composer has offered two versions of the piece: one for electric guitar and tape (the tape part featuring two electric bass guitars), and the other for an ensemble of guitar. It was first recorded by guitarist Pat Metheny in 1987 and released together with Reich's Different Trains, performed by the Kronos Quartet, on Nonesuch's 979 176-2. It uses the techniques of looping and sampling extensively to produce its layered multiple guitar sound. In 2007, the guitar ensemble Forestare made the first recording of the lesser known second version, on ATMA Classique.

As with other pieces by Reich, this piece has influenced many modern musical artists, such as The Orb, who sampled the third movement as one of the hooks for "Little Fluffy Clouds", and RJD2, who sampled the piece's opening for his song "The Proxy" from his first release Deadringer. There is recent Royksopp's opus named after this composition. Duo has made two versions of it: True To Original Edit and Milde Salve.


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