‘A Sucked Orange’ by Nurse With Wound is an album that was recorded between 1979-1988. Of the 29 titles, only a few of these titles can be considered songs. Melody is hardly a priority, so I would describe these pieces more accurately as sound collages consisting of synthesizers, voice, found sounds, samples, percussion, tape loops, echoes and effects, piano and plucked strings, sickly horns and abused violins.
For those who are not familiar with this music, Nurse With Wound is really Steven Stapleton who has done most of his recording in creative isolation, with sporadic assistance from assorted friends and musicians. According to the album’s liner notes, Steven states ‘my memory is blurred as to whom played on these bits and bobs.’
Influences range from the Mothers Of Invention to Amon Duul, Kraftwerk, and Kluster, to some aspects of Free Jazz and the Classical avant-garde, chiefly John Cage. Another source of inspiration stems from the artistic and literary examples set forth by the Dadaists and Surrealists. In a July 1997 interview with The Wire magazine, Stapleton states ‘To me Nurse music is Surrealist music. It’s the displacement of something ordinary into an extraordinary setting. I take ordinary things, instruments, solos, what have you, and place them in unusual settings, giving a completely different angle on the way instruments and compositions are looked at.’
The titles of the works contained on this CD are a description of the music set forth. Some are quite clever, others a bit abstract in their logic.
Highlights include: ‘Spiral Theme’ - An incredibly simple yet beautiful song. ‘Man Is The Animal’ - “. . . since your cry only confirms your failure.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. ‘I’m A Frayed Not’ - Tribal drumbeats and assorted noise. ‘S.B.B. Dragged Through A Hedge Backwards’ - The sound of video game music gone mad. ‘Flea Bite’ - The electronic adventures of a bloodsucking fiend.
‘A Precise History Of Industrial Music,’ Scissor Rock Bicycle Revelation,’ and ‘Dream OF A Butterfly Inside The Skull Of A Horse,’ all are reminiscent of the Dadaist and Surrealist imagery mentioned previously.
Because this recording spans nearly ten years of work, it is a fair representation of the Nurse With Wound catalogue during that time span. It is also an excellent introduction for the new listener and an entry into the world of an often neglected, yet brilliant, artist.
For more information about Nurse With Wound and Steven Stapleton, explorethe wildly informative website at http://www.brainwashed.com/nww
Artist Link: http://www.brainwashed.com/nww