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Soliloquy for Lilith

Nurse With Wound

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Album Review

Where did this come from? An ambient album from Nurse with Wound in 1988 was an invigorating shock to the system. Soliloquy for Lilith was a complete turnaround from the kosmiche/noise that Steven Stapleton and crew had been coming up with. Six tracks, each roughly 20 minutes, one track per side of a triple-vinyl box set, each piece subtly different from the others, all with a quiet power to completely dominate the environment of wherever it is played. The mystery of the album lay in its unique sound source — Stapleton merely looped a collection of effects pedals together and then found that by gesturing in the air around them, as if playing a Theremin, he could manipulate the tone generated by the electricity itself. What a wonderful discovery, and put to complete use here, as the possibilities in the setup are fully exploited over the course of two hours. Slow pulses in the lower register, similar to what Alan Lamb came up with in his high-tension wire recordings, complete with annular buzzes and high-end controlled feedback. It isn't far-fetched to see the roots of this album in the drone experiments of La Monte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music, or Tangerine Dream's epic Zeit. Occupying a completely separate corner of the massive Nurse with Wound catalog, Soliloquy stands outside of genre, and in the right frame of mind, outside of time. An absolute classic.

Biography

Formed: 1978 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A loose experimental project formed in 1978 by Steven Stapleton, Nurse with Wound explored abstract music — influenced by Krautrock, freewheeling jazz improvisation, and Throbbing Gristle but including a heavy debt to surrealists Dali and Lautréamont — with an overpowering release schedule of limited-edition albums and EPs. Stapleton worked with an ever-changing list of collaborators during the...
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Soliloquy for Lilith, Nurse With Wound
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