The Durutti Column


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Though Vini Reilly is most often associated with Factory, his interests and connections have led him to release albums through other labels around Europe and elsewhere. Thus Dry, which came out on the Materiali Sonori label in Italy in 1991. After the experimentation with the acid house explosion on Obey the Time the previous year, Dry aims less at dance but still takes a mostly solo tinge in its composition and arrangement. Songs like the slightly twangy "Rope Around My Neck," which has one of Reilly's most minimal vocal deliveries ever -- and that's saying something! -- and the two-part "Boat People" all show him as restless and creative as always, working with his sound at the same time as he found new extrapolations with it. As before, Bruce Mitchell only turns up once, on "Our Lady (Version)," along with irregular violist John Metcalfe and Rob Gray on harmonica, for a wonderful four-minute composition that starts as a tense piano/guitar combination before turning into its own weird classic rock stomp. Though that is Mitchell with Reilly on the cover along with Stanton Miranda, who sing/speaks on the brief, moody "Paradise Passage Road," the only song from this release to surface on the Factory Too reissues. The lead track is another example of beautiful collaboration -- working with clarinetist Zinnia Mitchell-Williams, "Dry" itself, at nearly eight minutes long, is one of Reilly's longer and most captivating recordings, his delicate filigrees spinning out over a steady, gently relentless synth bass/drum punch. The CD version of the album includes both the four-song WOMAD single from 1988 along with a separate live track, "The Beggar," from a Paris performance. Funniest and most descriptive song title of them all: "Short" -- at 30 seconds.

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