on 8 September 2007
Great, another new(ish) Durrutti Column record!! Oh there's always a special twinge of anticipation every time I excitedly get my mitts on a new Durruti Column record...As if this new offering could perhaps be the one to match The Guitar and other Machines or Vini Reilly.
The last three or four albums;(Rebellion, Someone Else's Party, Keep Breathing)have all been sequenced in such a way so that my high hopes are pretty much met in the first two tracks.
This is the case On Idiot Savants- Better Must Come and Interleukin (for Anthony) are focused, innovative and often moving melodic ideas, brilliantly realised. They are simply stunningly beautiful. Classical and modern they demonstrate that Vini is still a magical guitarist. And then it starts to unravel.
So what's goes wrong? Well these two gems are followed by the aptly named Please Let Me Sleep and an assortment of tracks that then drag on in a torpid stupour that's sadly rather too full of aimless noodling. I wish for a start the lovely Mr Bruce Mithcell could step up and play his scintilating and often understated jazzy drums rather more often. He's far better than the sound of an unsympathetic drum-machine chundering away. Vini's "singing" certainly allows us to feel his pain, but I'm not sure I actually want to hear it for half an hour or so. The instrumental arangements are always the best anyway, and I love the use of sampled choir on DC's stuff. Latterly too many tracks sound aimlessly improvised rather than being carefully considered compositions. IF you could take the best ten tracks from the last five albums (exept for the irradeamably bad Tempus Fugit) you'd have a great record.
Needless to say, I'm still waiting for the real return of the Durruti Column.
on 7 September 2007
After nearly 30 years and more than 20 albums, the latest offering from The Durutti Column confirms my opinion that they are incapable of making a bad record and remain utterly unique. From the opening chords, you know straight away that it's Vini and friends doing their inimitable thing. His signature guitar style and inspired use of samples are all to the fore here, and with Poppy Roberts he has introduced to us to another distinctive female voice which complements perfectly the Durutti Column sound. On `Gathering Dust', her vocals add a whole new dimension to the digital percussion and echoing beat found on other DC tracks. It makes you wonder what other potential collaborations would sound like (I'm still hoping that Elizabeth Fraser will pop into his studio one day). From the slow insistent drum and distorted vocals on `Better Must Come', through to the gentle flamenco and chilling aura of `That Blows My Name Away' (another love letter to Rachel), there is not a bad or even average track here. The two standouts for me are the previously mentioned `Gathering Dust' and `Interleukin 2' (for the late Anthony Wilson). There are many, many moments here that send a shiver down your spine or drift you off to a blissful contentedness. This is a simply gorgeous recording