Archive for the nurse with wound Category

Sunn O))) meets Nurse With Wound – The Iron Soul of Nothing (Ideologic Organ) 2011

Posted in nurse with wound, sunn O))) with tags , , , on November 3, 2014 by noisenoisenoise


Hello blog people. Long time no write. I’ve decided to reactivate this little noise blog as a way of bringing records to your attention that Ingmar I don’t get around to covering on The Antidote Podcast. I suppose it also allows me to write about records from the past rather than the new release schedule that Ingmar and I try to stick to. So in honour of Sunn O)))’s recent collaborations with Scott Walker (I’m still putting off listening to that one) and Ulver (just ignore the last track) I thought I’d cover something I’ve been enjoying for a while.

I’ve got two copies of this. The first is a four track version I downloaded off NWW’s bandcamp page and the second copy is a three track version which appears as  the second disc in a two disc reissue of SunnO)))’s OO Void which was released in 2011. That release was a re-release of a re-release by Japanese label Daymare in 2008 which I remember my local indie record store trying to charge me $74.00 for. Out-fucking-rageous if you ask me. The original OO Void was actually recorded in 2000 and got released by Hydra Head records that year.

In 2007 some smarty decided it would be a good idea to send a nice clean digital copy of OO Void to the Nurse With Wound lads to see what they would come up with. So what did they come up with? Only the doomiest, bleakest, blackened version of Sunn O))) that you could possibly ever hope for. For the most part NWW take the doom-laden glacial metal of Sunn O))) and make it into a sinister, quite evil listen. This is less a metal monolith and more a terrifying aural journey into the heart of darkness. Absolutely wonderful. I have a great deal of affection for Sunn O))) particularly Flight of the Behemoth (featuring Merzbow yay!) and the terrific White albums. The wonderful thing about The Iron Soul of Nothing is experiencing the doom aesthetic from a non-metal source. This is less about being crushed and more about being mentally suffocated.

For the most part the collaboration (or is it a remix) is instrumental but on the wonderful Ash on The Trees (the third track) the vocals of Pete Stahl (from Washington DC hardcore band Scream) are somehow extracted form beneath the ugliness of the original record to provide a bleak prelude to a track of unrelenting fear – kind of like a black mass with power chords).

Get this from NWW’s bandcamp page for a quick fix. Essential.

Nurse With Wound / Graham Bowers – Rupture (Dirter) 2012

Posted in Music, nurse with wound with tags , , on February 2, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

What an extraordinarily cheery concept for a record. Rupture is the musical interpretation of the last hour and three minutes of a person’s life after they suffer a stroke. Lovely. Now based on that premise I was expecting a bit of the horror minimalism which was so on display on NWW’s last proper outing The Surveillance Lounge, but this record seems to be Graham Bowers show. Bowers is a respected composer who has a bio listing on the BBC Wales Website. He is a bit of a big deal in contemporary composition yet the sounds explored on Rupture are the musical and media memories of someone who grew up in a land of English street parties and village fairs. A sentimental life which, I suspect for many of those who will buy this, will be quite foreign. For the most part this is an exposition of memory as it marches towards an imminent death.  But the sounds that have been chosen to represent those memories can be, well, clunky. Especially when the traditional wedding march make s jolting appearance. When I heard that I thought it was being horribly obvious. There are some lovely avant garde orchestral bits in this but frankly I’m not sure why it needed to be recorded. It just doesn’t  sustain interest  even in the middle of listening to it let alone for repeated listens. It is a piece written for performance and in that context it may actually be OK. The subject matter of Rupture lent itself to something quite terrifying. I think if there was still some consciousness after having a massive stroke I would be screaming for an hour about the lack of control and the inevitability of death. A massive disappointment. It shouldn’t suck this hard.

Nurse With Wound – Shipwreck Radio Volume 1 (ICR / United Diaries) 2004

Posted in Music, nurse with wound with tags , on December 27, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

Between June and July 2004 Colin Potter and Steven Stapleton travelled to the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle at the invitation of Kunst I Nordland. They were not allowed to take any instruments and took only minimal equipment. The band were required to create three pieces per week as they explored the islands which were to be broadcast on the local radio station. Seven of the tracks are collected here. This is one of the favourite records in the DBS house. My four year old can’t get enough of it. I suspect  he enjoys trying to figure out each of the sounds that goes to make up this tremendous collection of processed field recordings.

The islands are essentially a fishing community. The liner notes are evocative of the isolation and strangeness of the islands. During the months they were there, the sun never set and the the smell of drying cod and the sight of their headless drying bodies were a constant. The sound of the waves lapping against a boat, looped excerpts of conversations with the locals, the sound of sea birds and even the appearance of a brass band during the local music festival “Codstock” all weave in and out of the isolated sound scapes collected here. It is one of my favourite NWW records and one of my favourite records full stop. I am a sucker for great field recordings and this strange  yet oddly engaging record is an absolute joy. Welcome to Utvaer!

Nurse With Wound – The Surveillance Lounge (Dirter) 2009

Posted in Music, noise, nurse with wound with tags , on September 12, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

What am I exactly suppose to make of this? The Surveillance Lounge is essentially one sixty minute long track broken up into four parts developed as the soundtrack for a surrealist German film from the early half of the last century. Before I go out and buy  a Nurse With Wound record I do my research. No two Nurse With Wound albums sound the same and unless you do a bit of reading you might get some processed field recordings, some dada surrealism, experimental noise or something as wonderfully accessible as their last proper album, Huffin’ Rag Blues.

Based on the research I had done I had decided last year not buy the Surveillance Lounge but I was still curious about it. Fast Forward to earlier this year I decided to take a punt. Eight plays later  this record still has me baffled. The Surveillance Lounge is towards the more extreme, avant garde end of their sound. In fact it may be the most difficult Nurse With Wound record I’ve heard with elements of their earlier work distilled into a nightmarish landscape of surrealism. The Surveillance Lounge uses swathes of not-quite-silence to emphasis the dread and fear that any sensible listener will feel listening to this. There are moments of this that are truly terrifying and I warn you not to listen to this record when you are falling asleep lest you need an ambulance for the heart failure you’ll get when the screaming starts. This is not my favourite Nurse With Wound record because I think they have a greater song sensibility than what is on display here. It’s certainly not the place anyone would start with the band’s massive back catalogue. It is a thoroughly unlikable  record in many ways but if you like listening to music in total darkness whilst clutching a pillow then the Surveillance Lounge is going to be your thing.

Nurse With Wound – Space Music (Beta-Lactam Ring) 2009

Posted in Music, noise, nurse with wound with tags , , , on December 29, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

I saw this at my local indie record store shortly before Christmas. Before I shelled out for it I thought I’d have a bit of a look around the interwebs to get a sense of what it was all about. The interwebs were strangely silent so in a burst of civic duty I thought I’d shell out the cash and try to give some sense of what Space Music sounds like. Space Music is a piece of abstract sound art commissioned for the Melbourne Planetarium’s Science in the Dark series. The piece is based  on the theory that the resonant frequency of the Big Bang was F#. I suppose that if I try to put it in the context of Nurse with Wound it’s fair to say that this is one of the most ambient and minimal pieces of their’s I’ve heard to date. If I was trying to describe this to someone who hasn’t heard Nurse With Wound the piece itself is probably a lot like travelling through space. At times there’s a great deal of “fuck all” going on as you float almost silently through space with just the hum of your flight craft making any aural impact , every now and then you hit a meteor shower and it fucks, to varying degrees, your electronic equipment and sometimes the ship gains consciousness and tries to kill you. An ambient piece which somehow managed to alter my idea of what “ambient” can mean

Nurse With Wound – Rock’n Roll Station (Beta-Lactum Ring) 2006

Posted in Music, nurse with wound with tags , on November 14, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

Rock n Roll Station

So today I took the family to the beach. Great surf beaches are only 45 minutes away in the car, the sun was shining so off we fucking went. Now usually when we go for a bit of a road trip the music selection comes down to minimalist techno if we want to send the  kid to sleep or Kimya Dawson’s Alphabutt or some random Ramones track if he wants a bit of a sing along. Today I thought I’d try Nurse With Wound, not expecting a positive response mind, but fuck me if I didn’t have the whole family giving this the big thumbs up. Now if you have a bit of a wander about the interwebs there is a bit of nonsense about his being Nurse with Wound’s attempt at Hip Hop. Bah I say. This is simply a classic Nurse With Wound record – avant-garde as hell yet strangely accessible all at the same time. In fact the style that comes through the most in the opening couple of tracks is dub which is probably why the kid liked it so much (he loves those Congos). By the  time we reach the third track 2 Golden Microphones everything has gone a bit strange but over it’s 17 minutes it reveals itself as one of my favourite tracks. Rockabilly guitar makes fleeting appearances; electronic manipulation, featherlite drone, ghostly vocals, tribal percussion, didgeridoo and tape manipulation all weave in and out of the track. It’s a hell of a ride. That experimental streak remains through the reminder of the tracks even on the vaguely Mouse On Mars-ish R&B Through Collis Brown.

In fact there is nothing very rock’n roll about this album because much of it descends into that sublime, creepy ambience that has been a recurring theme in their records – I’ve decided to call it Dada Dub (take that Keenan). I think it is an absolute cracker and one of my favourite NWW records. For what it’s worth Beta-Lactum Ring had the  good sense to reissue this (it was first released in 1994) and the packaging is first class. These things have a tendency to go out of print quicker than you think and It would be a pity to not hear this before it disappears again. Just saying.

Nurse With Wound – Spiral Insana (Jnana) 1986

Posted in Music, nurse with wound on August 12, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


Over the last two years someone has had the sense to reissue some of Nurse With Wounds long deleted back catalouge and as a bit of a Nurse with Wound tragic I’m trying to hear as many of them as I can. This brings me to Spiral Insana which seems to be one of the most beloved Nurse with Wound records amongst the bands fans. It’s released at the  same time as a reissue of Alice The Goon, a very limited run EP and the bands new one, The Surveillance Lounge,  which seems to be getting some very savage reviews indeed.

All Nurse With Wound records are a bit mad and Spiral Insana is no different. The track listing has 20 or so tracks but it is mastered as three long pieces. Where the long list of individual track names fits into the three tracks isn’t quite clear. What is clear is that this is one of the easiest Nurse With Wound records to get into and if you like this then you’re going to get a kick out of the rest of their catalogue. The easiest way of describing this record is to say that it is all ambient soundscapes regularly interrupted by blasts of noise, field recordings of birds chirping and gregorian chants (for starters). In fact beyond that description there is no point describing this, you just have to listen. Equally beautiful and unnerving, Spiral Insana is one of the best Nurse With Wound records I’ve heard.

Current 93 – Jesus As Black Moth (Castle) 2005

Posted in Music, nurse with wound on July 1, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


People with good taste like Current 93. Hipsters love them, journalists love them, underground noise fans love them  blah blah blah. Me? I think they’re OK. I mean the guy can write a tune but it’s his bloody ghastly voice which has me holding off on labelling myself a fan. There is just something a bit to contrived, a bit too cabaret for want of a better word, about his spoken, theatrical delivery which can give me a dose of the shits. If I’m in the right mood Current 93 rocks my world, when not, I find the whole aural experience lame and pointless. A case in point is the track All the Pretty Horses. It’s a cracker of a tune and to hear Nick Cave and Shirley Collins sing on two versions contained in this compilation, I realise just what a good song writer David Tibet is. But after hearing Nick bust out the croon machine for his version I couldn’t help wonder how good the rest of the songs would be if it was Nick’s voice rather than Tibet’s. Tibet’s voice is a really limited vehicle and the reason why I decided to post on this record, an out of print compilation of all things, is because I doubt I’ll be lining up for any more records barring some of the very early records like Blood Dogs Rising and Nature Unveiled. This compilation goes back as far as 1990 and up to the mighty Black Ships Ate the Sky, the only other Current 93 record I own. In fact that record also proves my point about the limitations of  Tibet’s voice. Black Ships has numerous versions of Idumea, a lovely traditional hymn.  Baby Dee, Antony, Will Oldham, Marc Almond all provide versions of Idumea and oddly enough they are the best things on the record, each of them wedged between slices of Tibet’s dramatic monotone.

This compilation is labelled  the companion record to Nurse with Wound’s Livin’ Fear of James Last and there certainly seems ot be this connection between the two bands and it is also common for people to love both bands. Well I’m not  one of them. I like Current 93 but I fucking love Nurse with Wound. If you can track Jesus as a Black Moth down you would be wise to pick it up. It includes tracks from all of the important Current 93 releases which are either out of print of prohibitively expensive. As compilations go it is excellent and many of the  tracks, even with Tibet’s voice are absolute crackers. And lets face it, every music collection needs some avant garde, gothic, folk cabaret. Even yours.

Nurse With Wound – Huffin’ Rag Blues (Durto Jnana) 2008

Posted in Music, nurse with wound with tags , on March 1, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


There is an extraordinary pointlessness to me  posting on a Nurse with Wound record. I’ve nibbled a the edges of their vast (and mainly deleted) back catalogue and still feel that I haven’t really got a handle on what they do. This record made by Best of 2008 list. I didn’t post on it last year because I’ll be fucked if I can really describe it in terms of there previous work. So I’ve decided to just review it on its own merits. The common approach from most reviewers seems to be focusing on its noirish/lounge aspects but such descriptions are misleading. Are there  jazzy flourishes on this? Sure, but the best stuff is truly odder than what you may have been lead to believe. The first  remarkable moment arrives on Track 3, the superbly named The Funktion of the  Hairy Egg. Almost dub, almost trip hop, mildly ambient but with barnyard noises and electronic fuckery. For the next 14 minutes it’s a pretty wild ride. Black Teeth arrives next and fuck me if it doesn’t sound like Tom Waits. Seriously. The next track returns to a jazzy theme and what sounds like a field recording of the  rigging creaking of a tall ship over which is sung a torch song performed by a waif. Congos turn up on another track  and another starts off like the Peter Gunn theme. Yet despite it’s loungish feel, tracks are overlayed with the experimental noise and avant garde approach that Nurse With Wound are known for. None of the  NWW records I’ve heard sound like the each other so Huffin’ Rag Blues may be as good a place as any to if you’re new to the band. Its highly accessible and an absolute blast.

Nurse With Wound – Livin’ Fear of James Last (Castle) 2005

Posted in Music, noise, nurse with wound with tags on September 23, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

The kid and I went down to the local chain record store today ostensibly to get a copy of Kimya Dawson’s Alphabutt. I’d driven a  fair way and I thought that I’d have a quick flick through their alternative section and look what I found. This  2 CD, 19 track, 2005 compilation (or as Mr Stapleton has put it, a Nurse with Wound Variety pack) came out on Sanctuary’s Castle label. Castle is an odd kettle of fish. Most of their output is pretty stock standard oldies but every now and then they produce a cracker that is up there with Rhino for getting the whole sub-genre of artist compilations dead right. The Fall compilation Psychik Dancehall was an absolute cracker and they’ve carried on the great tradition with Livin’ Fear of James Last. This compilation was put together by Mr Stapleton himself and it barely scratches the surface. There’s one track from the sadly out of print Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table, one from Gyllenskold, two tracks from Second Pirate Session, two from An Awkward Pause, Yagga Blues from Who Can I Turn To Stereo and various other tracks from albums I’ve never heard of. There is nothing  on this from Homotopy for Marie (the first Stapleton solo Nurse With Wound record) nor A Sucked Orange. I have no  idea whether that is a good thing or not given that I’ve never hard either record but both seem to get the saliva flowing of  the Nurse With Wound fan set.  Is this compilation representative of Nurse with Wound’s back catalogue. How the fuck would I know? What it does achieve is a smattering of tracks that reference the many  very different musical styles of the band  including some that, if I hadn’t bought this compilation, I would never have heard. Yet this compilation is now also out of print. I mean for fuck’s sake I know that there is an extensive reissue program going on at the moment (Rock n’ Roll Station just got reissued) but there is obviously a market for this stuff and as a Nurse with Wound primer it definitely deserves a re-release.

Nurse With Wound – Gyllenskold, Geijerstam and I at Rydberg’s (United Jnana) 2008)

Posted in Coil, Music, noise, nurse with wound, Throbbing Gristle with tags on July 6, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

This is the remastered re-release of Nurse with Wound’s 1983 album. In addition to the three original tracks this CD also has a reworked version of each of  the tracks. The reworked version was originally released in 1993.  This is my first exposure to Nurse With Wound. I quite frankly found their back catalogue intimidating (and fucking expensive) and I just had no idea where to start. Luckily that problem resolved itself when friends of mine turned up to my birthday lunch with this in hand. I had no idea they were Nurse with Wound fans and had no idea what to expect when I took this  home.  Nurse With Wound is basically Stephen Stapleton and friends and I wasn’t too sure whether this was going to sound more like Throbbing  Gristle, Coil  or Current 93. What I quickly discovered is that Nurse with Wound, at least on this record, sounded nothing like those bands. This is extremely weird tape loop experiments. It’s hard to say much more than that really. I can’t figure out how to explain the sounds on this. I suppose the  first track the  bizarrely titled Several off moments before prior to lunch could work as a sado-horror movie soundtrack. It’s creepy, unsettling and oddly compelling. 

The main thing that strikes me about this re-release is just how good it sounds. If you didn’t know that it was recorded in 1983 you’d be none the  wiser. This is a thoroughly modern weird, experimental record. Unlike their contemporaries this has aged very well indeed. It’s not going to be for everyone but I find it strangely listenable. I have no idea whether this is representative of Nurse with Wound and in some ways my desire to find out isn’t really there. I like this and have listened to it everyday since I got it a couple of weeks ago. Excellent stuff.

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