Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Return Of The Durutti Column

Yes I know it's not prog. But Vini Reilly's work shares a similar aesthetic for ambition and ability that a lot in prog aspires to. Though his band (or more a moniker really) The Durutti Column came out of the post-punk fallout of the late 70's and were signed to Factory, Vini's music owed very little to the abrasive sounds that were left in the wake of the Sex Pistols. This first album was full of delicate, thoughtful and reflective guitar vignettes. From the liner notes of this recent expanded and remastered re-release on Factory Benelux, it seems Vini spent a couple of days in the studio setting down some guitar pieces and then got so fed up with producer Martin Hannett's tinkering with synths and rhythm machines that he left. Hannett was then left to add synths and rhythm around what Vini had produced. The results are timeless instrumentals, showcasing Vini's prodigous guitar technique and style, which has been so distinctive and joyous throughout the years. The rhythms and synth "tweets" may sound primitive now, but they add a certain archaic charm which suits the reflective and almost dreamlike ambience of these tunes.

Vini was never a well man. Like his music, fragile and otherwordly. I think his health has declined even further over the last few years. But he still seems to produce music to this day and for that we can be thankful. This first album may have been produced in less than amiable surroundings, but that was the Factory way! The results however are simply beautiful!