Blood and Echoes: The Story of ‘Come Out’, Steve Reich’s Civil Rights Era Masterpiece

Pitchfork have written an illuminating article about ‘Come Out’, the tape loop experiment by minimalist composer Steve Reich, which debuted in 1965.

I am a massive fan of Steve Reich’s loop-based pieces. I hear his ethos running through much of my music collection, connecting styles/artists as diverse as dub reggae, Maalem Mahmoud Guinia, Orbital and Zimbabwean mbira music. What I didn’t know was that this poignant piece was written in response to the case of the Harlem Six (1964), a tragic episode of systematic police brutality against six black people imprisoned for murder (five of whom were innocent). Even the origins of the song title show the savagery and incredulity of the events that spawned Reich’s powerful 13-minute deconstruction.

Read the article here.


Baldwin, J. (1966). A Report from Occupied Territory. The Nation.