20 Nov 2019
The Durutti Column Fidelity (2LP coloured vinyl) review 
The Durutti Column Fidelity (2LP coloured vinyl) review

Recorded in the mid-'90s and released after a string of celebrated albums, including 'The Guitar and Other Machines', 'Fidelity' [Les Disques du Crepuscule, TWI 976] is something of an underdog when compared to some of The Durutti Column's canon.

Released on CD only in 1996, this forgotten album continues the electronic theme of the outfit's final Factory album 'Obey The Time'. However, whereas the former reflected the acid house era, 'Fidelity' occasionally recalls the likes of Carl Craig, Richie Hawtin's F.U.S.E. project or Ultramarine, particularly on the giddy minimal techno of 'Sanko', the dreamy 'Grace' or sample-driven house sounds of 'Abstract of Expression'.

In truth, there isn't a great deal of Vini Reilly's guitar work on here - again as with 'Obey The Time', there are the merest hints of him riffing on the more upbeat pieces, but thankfully plenty to digest on the chilled out and glorious 'Guitar For Mother', the melancholy 'Storm For Steve' and short and sweet vignette 'G&T'. Taking centre stage across most of the album is Vini and Laurie Lexicon's other machines with beats coming from computers rather than drumming stalwart Bruce Mitchell who was notably absent from these sessions. No matter - it's a consistent album nonetheless.

With the exception of the misplaced 'Remember Me', Fidelity makes for pleasing listening on this re-ordered coloured double vinyl update, completed with the addition of two bonus tracks and a much improved new sleeve courtesy of Crépuscule's in-house artist and designer Benoît Hennebert. Somewhat surprisingly there's little in the way of sleevenotes but then there's little in the way of a back story to an album that dipped under the radar 20-plus years ago. Well worth your time.

- review by Paul Pledger (originally published at Flipside Reviews) with thanks

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