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A Beautfiul Bargain,
This review is from: Durutti Column 2001-2009 (Audio CD)
Aside from Mark E Smith Manchester's other idosyncratic post-punk master is Vini Reilly who, to all intents and purposes, is the Durutti Column. For in excess of 30 years he's put out a sucession of records - a figure almost matching that of The Fall's if you include all the compilations and live albums. His music is of its own featuring reverbed guitars, drum machines, samples, and sometimes live drumming from the "other member" Bruce Mitchell. Oh, there are vocals too either Reilly's own fragile tones or those of the numerous females he has asked to contribute.
After getting gradually more ornate and ambitous through the 90's the five albums here seem to be harking back to a more minimal time when he was on Factory Records. To those who know his earlier work, the ingredients are reassuringly familiar. There is much to enjoy on all these albums the guitars chime beautifully and there are two of his best and most consistent albums included here in the shape of "Keep Breathing" - which is probably one of his five best ever - and "Love In The Time Of Recession" which has a beautiful opener dedicated to the memory of Anthony Wilson, head of Factory and biggest fan.
I feel a little bad about getting these albums in this way, but they're worth the investment. There are pieces throughout that will have you going back to them. The overall impression is of something very gentle and understated. The music here seems to be very introspective. NME once described him as "wallpaper music for existentialists" and I couldn't put it better. If, like me, you've lost touch with the works of the Durutti Column this is a good way to see what he's been doing in the past few years. If you're new to all this and want some moments of gentle beauty, with a hint of the melancolic then this is a pretty good buy.