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31 January 2013

Durutti Column - 'LC' (Base)

I never became a fan of this band but this record, which I just blew a decade of dust off, is pretty intriguing. Durutti Column probably have a place among the most psychedelic side of new wave fans - they seem like the type of band to get a cult around them, though I never really got it. This is instrumental music built around ringing guitars, throbbing basslines, and thoughtful, exploratory song structures. The notes ring out with chorus effects, not oversaturated and not at all hazy. The structures are deceptively simple, and the good nature of these tunes calls to mind acts like Young Marble Giants, making great things with careful brushstrokes. When there are vocals, such as on 'Sketch for Dawn (2)', they're as cryptically buried as you'd expect; these guys are clearly too shy to lay down some confident rock caterwauls. There's some adventurous jamming, of the clean-channel fast-strum type, and while it's easy to take this as a big 'guitar' album, this is really just as much about the bassist and drummer. The keyboards are a presence as well, whether contributing to the sky or being thrust, sharp detail notes (as found on the other vocal track, 'The Missing Boy'). I think LC is one of their more well-regarded records though it's the only one I've ever listened to, and I admit that by the end, I'm quite taken by their sound. There's a subtlety to this, a quieter vein of the 1980s that I also find in bands like Tirez Tirez; the production is important, the tones are carefully chosen. This is a new type of guitar god - one that paints on gauze instead of canvas. 

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