Archive for nurse with wound

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 – Huffin’ Rag Blues (Durto Jnana) 2008

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

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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.

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