Tuesday, October 13, 2015

André Salmon + Nurse With Wound

André Salmon - Léon Léhautier, Anarchiste Pur.
Nurse With Wound - Close To You

Book + 3” CD

38 pp
10 x 15 CM
ISBN :  979-10-94601-00-6

Many years ago my Nurse With Wound education was given a healthy boost by the purchase of two Nurse With Wound MP3 discs as bought from a record shop on Nevsky Prospekt in St Petersburg. The Russian disdain for copyright meant that Mr Stapelton got bugger all for his work whilst I got 22 albums spanning 1979 to 2000, and while the discography is incomplete it would be churlish of me to complain about the missing albums and the inevitable loss of sound quality.

I was already familiar with bits of the Nurse With Wound ouvre [as should anyone with any serious interest in the further reaches of sonic exploration] and consider A Sucked Orange and Rock ‘N Roll Station to be amongst my favourite albums but those two discs took me on a longer journey that at its end led me to believe that not everything Nurse With Wound released was covered in gold dust. Those early albums may have inspired a generation of noise makers but listening back now to Blank Capsules of Embroidered Cellophane I’m wondering if I can stick its full 28 minutes worth of studio fuck-about-ery and whether it was that good in the first place. Probably not. Merzbild Schwet is equally hard work and have you heard the collaboration with Hafler Trio on Staalplaat? Hard work doesn’t even cover it. But anyway. 

My favourite Nurse With Wound sounds are the ones that somewhere along the line involve Colin Potter, David Tibet and Andrew Liles. ‘Close To You’ features Tibet and Liles in a fifteen minute mini epic that begins with solemnly played low end piano keys and ends with a Blackpool Tower organ version of the eponymous Burt Bacharach classic [there’s also a snatch about midway of the intro to Andy Williams' take on Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You - I guess they must have been listening to lots of Burt]. All this had me diving into the Nurse With Wound back catalogue so I played Man With the Woman Face and Chance Meeting and A Sucked Orange and Spiral Insana but not Sylvie and Babs because I don’t like the cut up stuff. But yes, Close To You, classic Nurse material with trademark Nurse sounds such as whispered foreign languages, salamanders sucking up worms and crisp packets being crinkled at loud volumes. A mysterious fifteen minutes worth with each sound being replaced in turn making for a seamless and endlessly curious journey. It goes without saying that the production and engineering standards are of the usual ear boggling quality.

There’s the book too, another one of those little Lenka Lente books and a story [In French] of an obscure anarchist who in 1893 killed the Serbian minister for France for wearing a decoration in his jacket. But I dare say that most of you reading this couldn’t give a toss about that little fact. Which is a shame because I’m sure there’s some kind of connection to be made here which due to my lousy French I’m missing [I have Frans de Waard’s review to thank for the Serbian minister info]. I can’t chide Lenka Lente for not publishing English language editions of their work but like Frans I feel that us monoglots are only getting half the picture. Our loss is the French speaking worlds gain I suppose.

[As an aside, I think I may actually be warming to 'Blank Capsules ...'. Its taken me a long time but perhaps I'm finally ready for it now.]


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