Nurse With Wound - "Images/Zero Mix"
(Beta-lactam Ring Records 2008, mt103, 2-CD+Book box set)
From Aural Innovations #40 (September 2008)
Entering the surreal dream world of Nurse with Wound is like being inside a Maya Deren film: nothing ever really happens and yet somehow there's a feeling of accumulating psychic discomfort that can only be relieved by surrendering yourself to the incomprehensible but strangely compelling logic of the moment. Of course, this is what we've all come to expect from Steven Stapleton, but Images/Zero Mix also adds a vast collection of his remarkable paintings. Thus Images/Zero Mix is really more of a multimedia project similar to say Sinfield & Eno's In a Land of Clear Colours. The music is almost incidental to the accompanying visuals, all of which are striking examples of Stapleton's idiosyncratic visionary technique: a kind of cyberpunk Salvador Dali running amok in Photoshop. Images/Zero Mix is worth the bucks almost solely on the basis of the included art book. Nevertheless, the two sound discs present the ominous psycho-industrial Dadaism that Nurse With Wound have become well known for over the past two decades" clanking machines, minimalist electronic soundscapes and bizarre samples twisted and contorted beyond recognition into the sounds of the urban nucleus. These rigorously mechanistic anthems to automatism, whether intended or otherwise, are the perfect musical analog to Stapleton's strange but brutally ethereal rendering of everthing from saliva glands and lacerated eyeballs to cocks and vaginas visualized as alien worlds under the cold glare of an electron microscope on acid. As a complete audio-visual experience, Images/Zero Mix succeeds admirably as both music and art.
For more information you can visit the Beta-lactam Ring Records web site at: http://www.blrrecords.com.
Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree