The Durutti Column: A Paean to Wilson (Kooky)

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The Durutti Column: Brother
The Durutti Column: A Paean to Wilson (Kooky)

In the brief liner notes here Durutti Column's Vini Reilly notes how close he had been to the late Tony Wilson who had almost single-handedly founded and shaped the scene which came out Manchester.

Reilly notes that Wilson was his close friend (he was at the hospital when Wilson died in '07) and that Durruti Column was the first act signed to play at Wilson's Factory club and the first on his Factory Records label.

But close though they were, Reilly says he largely avoided the celebrations and commemorations of Wilson's life out of grief and that instead he preferred to do something "for myself and Tony".

This is a lovely, quasi-ambient and sonically experimental album coloured by odd percussive effects, gentle washes of sound and distant wind-swept vocals, elegantly folksy viola in the manner of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, samples including Marvin Gaye's "there's far too many of us dying" on the eight minute Brother, Reilly's singular guitar playing everywhere . . .

The two discs come it at around 100 minutes all up and that makes for an ambitious, almost exclusively instrumental song-cycle (actually two cycles, the second disc Heaven Sent is quite self-contained) which remind you that for all the attention paid other Factory acts, Reilly/Durutti Column made the most artful and artistic music which roamed far beyond pop and rock and existed in a world of its own making.

Doubtless that was what appealed to Wilson who gets the final word here on the first disc as he bemoans the failure of New Labour. His was a voice which wasn't going to be silenced and Reilly's tribute is obviously made with his friend in mind, but also transcends that specific purpose.

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