The Durutti Column
Vini Reilly had been a busy man. Having released a slew of singles and two non-Factory albums (a live recording and Amigos en Portugal, an album with its own unique backstory), Another Setting was the fifth Durutti Column album in three years, and it found him refining his sound even further into its own unclassifiable genre. Tony Wilson had extolled the notion that Reilly was a guitar genius, and while LC certainly was a masterful work of art, it was with Another Setting that the hyperbole was proving to be not so hyperbolic. Surprisingly, this gorgeous album has only been reissued once, so this is a welcome offering.
The biggest refinement here is Reilly’s singing. Always an acquired taste, by this album he’s learning how to utilize his limitations in relation to his compositional style, and in so doing gives the listener more compelling, complex songs. On “Smile In The Crowd” and “Spent Time,” his pensive voice blends nicely with the murky, dark atmospherics, and the results are sublime. It’s especially moving on “The Beggar,” which is enhanced by the sorrowful trumpet played by former A Certain Ratio’s Simon Topping.
As always, though, it’s the guitar playing that attracts people to Durutti Column records, and Another Setting is never short of beautiful music. Reilly’s playing is an odd, unique fusion of jazz, classical guitar, and post-punk. Reilly is a masterful soundscape composer, and the gentle playing on numbers like “Prayer,” “Francesca,” and “Bordeaux” is nothing short of heavenly. It’s easy to understand why God might have said “It’s good music to chill out to.”
Unlike the recent reissue of LC, the bonus tracks found here are scant and several have been compiled elsewhere, but that’s okay; Another Setting doesn’t need them. There is one genuine rarity, though, that’s never seen CD reissue until now. Dedications To Japan was a special limited edition single released in that country as a thank-you for his recent tour. “Love Fading” would be re-recorded and expanded the following year as “Silence” for the Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say EP, and while the gorgeous little melody about his feelings on the beauty of Japan.
Another Setting is confirmation that Reilly was and is one of the best musicians to come out of the Manchester post-punk scene. This welcome reissue is a nice addition to the recent series in Factory Records reissues, and is an essential album for fans and newcomers alike.