Friday, 22 December 2017

Nurse With Wound - Soliloquy For Lilith (1988)

Been meaning to post this one for a while now.  What to even say about one of the monumental epics of pure electronic drone, that arose from an accident of technological serendipity and remains the artist's favourite in his vast catalogue?

Simply put, the 106 minutes of Soliloquy For Lilith (now expanded to 2½ hours by outtake and/or remixed material) are an object lesson in chancing upon a simple technical quirk - a closed loop of effects pedals undergoing subtle electromagnetic changes as the air above them is disturbed - and crafting that single idea into a masterpiece.

Stapleton found that he could "play" this setup, theremin-like, to manipulate the huge, swirling soundwaves and ghostly overtones that comprise the six-part Soliloquy, and split the different sounding sections into six sides of vinyl, each 17-18 minutes in length.  In parts 1 & 2, the massive drone draws you in to its hypnotic orbit whilst the overtones stab and shriek in the vastness of space; in parts 3 & 4, the overtones have become almost melodic, resulting in an almost ambient bath in primordial sound.  Simply one of the greatest immersive listening experiences ever made.

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3


  1. Ok, this is where I finally get to dip a toe in the water. Been seeing the name since forever (I hate the name...) but never got around to listening to the music. Your enthusiasm has pulled me in!

    Thanks for this as for all your good work. Very merry bests for all the holidays and beyond!

  2. For someone with the apparent tastes you have, that write-up makes me think you sure are an easy mark sometimes - or that maybe you really don't understand anything. At all.

    I'm sincerely hoping for the former. Because there's way, way too much of the latter in the world already.

  3. I like this one. In the right mood, it's easy to drift away to. It's like a slowed-down Organum.

  4. Trolls don't like drone, apparently? The rest of us love your write ups, this sadboy just needs a hug.

    1. Ha, 'an easy mark' is a new one on me - I appear to be some sort of album-sharity Manchurian Candidate? "In Soviet Russia, blog downloads You" etc.

      Have a great Christmas everyone - there is a post of sorts programmed in for Monday if you get the chance to stop by.


    2. Hey, surely I am the easy Mark referred to? And for sure, I really don't understand anything. At all.

      Fortunately, I'm still capable of enthusiasm, though.

    3. ah right, so you could be the Mark... who knows?

      many thanks for your comment at the top btw.
      All the best,

    4. Au contraire, mon frere. Som "trolls" do like drone very much indeed. That sound you heard whistling over your head (or rumbling under your feet) was the point.

      Have a merry, pretentious Christmas, one and all! :D