Friday, 19 January 2018

Nurse With Wound - To The Quiet Men From A Tiny Girl (1980)

As mentioned in the previous post, one huge fan of Berrocal's Parallèles was NWW's Steven Stapleton.  The two men first met in France in the late 70s, and again shortly afterwards in London, where Berrocal contributed to the second album that Stapleton's band (still a group at this early stage, although John Fothergill and Heman Pathak's involvement was already diminishing) were recording.

In common with their legendary debut Chance Meeting..., NWW were again obliged (for the last time) to give engineer Nicky Rogers an introductory guest spot on guitar, entitled Umbrella Link.  Other than that, Stapleton's increasing confidence in the studio was already starting to show, in the slowed-down voice and various bits of electronic noise in the early minutes of She Alone Hole And Open, not to mention the various trumpet smears (Berrocal), other odds and ends, and the hammering rhythmic ending.

Ostranenie, named after the Russian art movement and also taking up a full album side, is better still, with the sonic landscape really starting to open out in anticipation of studio fever-dreams like Homotopy To Marie.  Disembodied voices, echoing percussive sounds, a lengthy exploration of a musical box rendition of Schumann's Traumerei, and a straight 90-second lift from John Cage (who was given a "grateful acknowledgement" in the liner notes) all take their turn in haunting the soundscape.  In the latter case, the choppy piano and radio play drop-ins from Credo In Us (the early 70s recording by Ensemble Musica Negativa) sound completely at home in their surroundings.  It's one of those great testaments to Stapleton's developing art and how skillfully he could synthesise his influences.



  1. Yet another "winner". I'm just waiting for the expositions on the "skillful synthesis of influences" by Messers McKenzie and Newton, then we can have the full "set".

    (Surgeon's General warning - this comment contains harmful - if not toxic and possibly fatal - amounts of withering sarcasm.)

  2. I don't think you mean the Surgeon is making a general warning. Perhaps you intended "Surgeon General's warning"? Why don't you go and play elsewhere. You add nothing here.

    1. ha, I never even noticed that bit. To be fair to our Anon 'friend', it's been a while since fag packets had the classic lines.

      Kinda intrigued by that Psychophysicist album now, assuming that's what's being referred to (only collab by Andrew McKenzie & Adi Newton that I can find).

    2. Maybe I did mean that. And maybe Mark forgot his question mark? How quaint.

      And you go right and get that pretentious jam, girlfriend! You know it's right up your street! And if it ain't, you'll damn sure find a way to make it so it is. I have faith in you!