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Drunk With the Old Man of the Mountains

Nurse With Wound

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Album Review

This release fills in some holes in the vast Nurse with Wound catalog, gathering up five stray tracks from the mid-'80s into a nice package for the collector. Some of the tracks have appeared on compact disc reissues (for example "Mourning Smile" appears on the CD reissue of Spiral Insana, but was not on the original release) that were all out of print at the time this was released. So that makes this a nice piece for the rabid collector, and also a good starting place for the inquisitive. As an album, the tracks work surprisingly well with each other and present a rounded, if difficult, view of what Nurse with Wound was capable of at the time. "Mourning Smile" is a relatively brief (just over five minutes) distillation of Steven Stapleton's unique ability to mix disparate elements (ghostly drone with ragtime piano and pipe organ) into a disorienting collage that keeps a close listener on his toes. "Swamp Rat" is a long exploration of drones working over a Neu! Motorik beat. "Sheela-Na-Gig" recalls some of the Penderecki music that was used as the score to The Shining. Broadly cinematic and avante-garde, Drunk with the Old Man of the Mountains resists easy categorization except as a NWW release. It couldn't have been made by anyone else.

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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