- Geometric Horsehair Cavalcade
- Afraid 2
Released concurrently with the Echo poem sequence two album was this three track single featuring Nurse with wound, John Contreras and Rose Mcdowall. It’s a plain looking item with very simple shades of green on the cover and bug on the CD. The music within consists of two versions of the Nico track Afraid, and a strange cello mutilation by Stapleton. The first version of Afraid is the shorter at only three minutes, and is a pleasant enough cello work out with McDowell’s distinctive vocals leading the way. I have never heard the original so can’t give a comparison, but this reworking doesn’t seem to do it for me. There isn’t much in the way of a hook or anything really to get hold of it’s just a kind of dull folk song.
Stapleton’s contribution is to rework the cello and gong playing of John Contreras into a soundscape of odd scrapes, scratches and drones. It has slow build up sound something like the title track off Homotopy to Marie. After five minutes sharp bowing of the cello is multitracked upon itself with strange distant echoing sounds and drones. Stapleton is credited with playing prepared piano and trashcan lid but quite when he does this I couldn’t tell you. The second version of Afraid is by far the most interesting with the introduction of various objects including a tinkling music box and sounds of winding up clockwork toys. The cello is used as a way of creating long tones and textures rather than melody, and McDowell’s vocals fade in and out of the mix. The production and composition has the hand of Stapleton upon it and is all the better as a result. A fairly forgettable item in all honesty but worth it for completists and any Nico fans out there. Limited to 1000 copies.