December 30, 2012
by Seth Colter Walls
Our understanding of John Cage’s value — he was more than just “4’33” — would be much poorer if not for Mode Records, which has invested in producing important albums of the composer’s works for decades. Their latest project is a comprehensive survey of Cage’s percussion pieces. The second effort in this series features Third Coast Percussion, and their virtuoso playing is as crisp as you’d expect. But more importantly, they’ve taken care to engineer these pieces properly in a studio: The grinding prepared-piano tones of “First Construction (in Metal)” have never sounded so fine.