Nurse With Wound – Paraparaparallellogrammatica

Nurse With Wound
Paraparaparallellogrammatica

Previously on Angry Electric Finger

When we last left Stephen Stapleton and his companions in the Nurse With Wound collective, our hero had combined forces with one Jim O’Rourke (sonic manipulator lately of Sonic Youth) to create Tape Monkey Mooch. For those only just joining the party, Nurse With Wound is the type of band that usually gets improperly labeled as “industrial” (whatever the fuck that means). Stapleton has been releasing albums since the early 70s with various contributors. Past works range from ambient soundscapes to out-right sonic experimentation, with some psychedelic pastorals tossed in for good measure. Without rehashing the bulk of Part I, Tape Monkey Mooch was a dark, ambient piece full of demented sound effects and fleeting acid-jazz flashbacks.

The second installment of Angry Electric Finger finds Stapleton collaborating with Cyclobe. Not surprisingly, Cyclobe contains former members of Coil. Coil was a long-time UK electronic outfit that created some monumentally mind-bending albums (see Love’s Secret Domain). Like Nurse With Wound, Coil has run the gauntlet of creepy ambient soundscapes to outright aural fuckery. Therefore it should come as no surprise that this second installment, Paraparaparallellogrammatica, has a healthy amount of hallucinogenic running through its veins.

Disc II starts off with the same swirly drone sound that O’Rourke and Stapleton ended with on the first disc, minus the evil ratcheting. Distant clanking weaves in and out of the sound until the synthesizer explodes with a menacing pulse. Things get pear shaped after that, and for the next several minutes the listener is assaulted with some of the best head trip music this side of Download. Sound is reversed, pushed forward, slowed down, and manipulated piling layer upon layer until your brain overloads and starts to seep out your ear in neon purple rivulets.

Gone are the gin bars and back alleys visited by Tape MOnkey Mooch. Paraparaparallellogrammatica will keep you locked safely inside your apartment with all the shades drawn and every light turned off save for that one black light in the corner. As the first 10-minute track draws to a close, the sound subsides into menacing drones and tape scratching heavily reminiscent of Autchere’s “Killing Game” remix. Saddle up and enjoy the ride into a k-hole. The final minutes of creepy “chewing” is possibly not suitable for the sane ones, so kids, if you ever wanted to let your parents think you were doing something illegal and mind-altering in your bedroom, just play this really loud.

The second track is 10 minutes of ambient drone, with scattered icicle keyboards. Nowhere near as intense as the first track, it serves as a much-needed cool down after the brutal assault that opens the album. The final track adds more texture. Immediately, we are back outside the gin-bar listening to a mournful flute from two blocks over dance with the lazy jazz sax and horn from inside. Slightly familiar. Maybe it’s the same club from the first disc. However, this time saucers straight out of Plan 9 are slowly roasting Metropolis, and Superman passed out hours ago. Our free back-alley concert is steadily interrupted by imploding sound as the alien beams warp every other music hall and symphony in the city. The string section is the last to go, and then the all mighty drone holds illimitable dominion over all.

The second disc also contains two “bonus” tracks, which rework the territory explored by O’Rourke and Stapleton. However, where the bulk of Paraparaparallellogrammatica is a continuation and expansion of a theme, the two bonus tracks implode the first disc and everything bends in upon itself.

Obviously, this is not the sort of material that would appeal to someone looking for journal-esque lyrics and traditional things like melody and chorus. However, for those looking for some tasty new soundscapes and music for dark and stormy nights then seek out Nurse With Wound post haste.