- June 15
- June 17
- July 24
- June 5
- July 6
- June 3
- June 20
For about five or so weeks across June and July 2004 Nurse with wound (Namely Steve Stapleton and Colin Potter) were marooned on the remote Nordic Island of Lofoten, a small island just above the artic circle. Over the course of there internment they were given the task of producing any sonic creations they wanted using the local environment, and or materials. They brought with them only rudimentary equipment and no instruments. The only rule being that three times a week their work in progress had to be broadcast over the local radio station. Shipwrecked Radio Vol 1 contains seven of these broadcasts.
All the tracks titles are dates, the first of which gets things off to a noisy start with mutilated rhythms and thumping beats, pounding out a complex repetitive dirge that ebbs and flows around a repeated voice loop. Perhaps going on a bit long at 10 minutes before the rhythms subside and warped voices and drones take over. There is this very odd recording of a child describing some food over and over again, finishing off with a chap singing the praises of the grateful dead. Each track begins with the same welcome to Utvaer intro, morphed increasingly with each successive track.
The second piece 'June 17th' is for me the best on offer here. A half hour excursion into environmental recordings and madness. Beginning with subtle recordings of a damp morning on the island. It sounds like itís raining outside, but you can here the birds in the distance circling the racks of dried cod that stand by the shore. It also sounds like they have a fire going. As time goes by the atmosphere becomes darker as day to night. Distant footsteps and bird calls combine with the fire and water, as slowly but surely electronics weave and sweep into the mix. The rain then moves in and the drizzle becomes a torrent of water, before morphing seamlessly into a round of clapping which heralds the start of a brass band which Nurse mutate into a twisted slow motion dirge. All sorts of voices, noise, and environmental recordings skit all over the place around the warped marching music, before it all stretches out to a droning atmosphere punctuated by a small Norwegian boy trying to communicate with the Nurse duo while they attempt to convince him they cant speak his language. The only let down for this track is that this final part seems to drag on just a bit too long. Track three is a monolithic drone piece that could be like the sounds of tectonic plates shifting on the horizon. It is mixed with the always disturbing sounds of granular synthesis chopping up and stretching audio like some electronic putty.
The second disk of the set is much more drone orientated, someone suggested to me that it felt like the second part of 'Salt Marie Celeste' after the ship had sunk. There is a defiantly submarine quality to the first of the four tracks. Slow building drones and higher pitched tones give the image of a slowly descending vessel silently falling deeper and deeper into the abyss. Music to slip into darkness to. The second track starts in a similar vein, but perhaps even darker. You can feel the pressure of the drone like millions of gallons of water above you. High pitched tones add a feeling of disconnection, as if the sound were coming from inside your head. The tone eventually modulating into a rhythmic pulse that contrasts the ever slowly hulking drone in all around you. Part three is almost subterranean in itís tone. Like far away echoes within a vast cavern. Again low end drones mixed with middle and higher range tones. There appears to be metallic creaking and movement at the very edges of hearing. Itís wonderfully creepy and draws you in to explore the dark depths for a chance to discover what could be making those sounds.
The final track is more metallic than the dark organic structures of the preceding three. The slowly throbbing drone augmented buy the sound of metal on metal rhythms in between the liquid metal flow of the drone. Intriguing but again it may just go on a little long at fifteen minutes. A good variety of material here, the tracks on the second disk could perhaps do with a being a bit shorter but apart from that this is a very good indication of the next couple of Nurse releases. I look forward to Vol 2.