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Nurse with wound/Aranos - Santoor Lena Bicycle

- Sparking Cloud (Outing)
- Marbles
- Gongs & Wood
- Mary Jane
- Bathing in Air
- Two from Half's be Cracked
- Sunset Belly Mother
- Generally Regarded as Safe
- Peak of Purified Dream
- Dusty Bella
- Knife Knows his Doing

This is the second collaboration between Nurse with wound and the Violinist Aranos, the first having been 1997s dark brooding, 'Acts of senseless beauty'. This is a very different record from the droning, darkness of 'Acts…' here we see Aranos taking a central stage working with much more than just Violin. Here concrete elements and improv noise are very much the order of the day. The first track 'Sparking cloud (Outing)' jumps out at you with driving industrial pounding and machine elements which are occasionally stopped and a sharp violin intermezzo takes over, before the pounding begins again. A nice start. Next comes 'Marbles', which is a good title since this is basically the sound of marbles being dropped down a wooden ramp while some small mechanical sounds tickle in the background. I wouldn’t say this was the most engaging piece but for a while it is quite sonically interesting. At about four minutes ominous bells drift into the mix. This track reminds me very much of some of Organums free organic metallic work.

Track three starts as with most of the tracks with a very short (only a few seconds) piano intro. 'Gongs and Wood' is again descriptive of the songs elements, being that the song is a montage of wooden objects and deep gong sounds. This is much better than marbles and takes the Nurse fan back to 'Homotopy to Marie' with the title tracks horrific soundscape of Gongs and tape. No tape on this track though but the atmosphere is equally as tense as the percussive hit’s swirl with menace before dying down again. The forth track 'Mary Jane' is probably the best on offer here, a bizarre vaudeville horror soundtrack that incorporated plucked bass, violin and curious toys and objects. Someone once described a scene where red skeletons roamed a graveyard their jaws rattling to the creepy beat. That’s a pretty good image to set this music to. The concrete elements used here are excellent, creaks and squeaks that add to the deeply obscure atmosphere. This track also features vocals, although I don’t know if it’s Stapleton or Aranos singing, It may be both. I swear there’s a line about “when the monkey came down on her”. For this track alone it’s worth getting hold of the album.

'Bathing in air' is a more ambient drone affair not much to say really, a short pause maybe. 'Two from Half’s be cracked' is a more dense noisy track that harks back to early Nurse compositions using many odd metallic and noise making objects. Even the disturbing small Childs voice makes an appearance. Aranos’ subtle use of Violin adds a proverbial string to the bow of the Nurse sound on many of these tracks, and here it’s barely audible but very effective, as the deep drones hover and dive. 'Sunset Belly Mother' begins with an ominous crash of piano chord followed by a short pause before to my initial shock the track leaps into a Jazz/Funk fest, (in fact made up in part by the Alien loop off the 7" of that name) complete with trippy guitar solo. It’s really funny following on from the dark concrete of the previous track. This of course being the often underplayed humour of the Nurse. After a couple of minutes the track breaks down to a quite disturbing mix of backwards field recordings of conversation. Madness. 'Generally regarded as safe' is another odd one, quite loud, using banging low end piano keys, crackling fuzz, bells and drones, it’s yet another texture on this album of shifting moods. At times mellow and punctuated with some gorgeous piano chords this track like the whole album is a like a slow walk through a huge country house, where darkness, humour and intrigue lurk behind every door.

'Peak of a Purified dream' is yet another strange one where the sound of someone sawing is phased against the gentle plucking of strings before a mad sample of a man talking about a fish tank plops into the mix amidst more drones. At one point this track goes almost completely silent, but the drones are ever present. 'Dusty Bella' is another more song based structure using Violin and a mad voice singing “ooooo I woke up So dusttttttyyyyy” The track finishes again with more drones, groans and madness. The final track 'Knife Knows His Doing' begins with a lovely piano motif before more percussion and squeak takes over. It dies down at about six minutes and after about a minutes silence another pretty piano piece serenades us just before all hell breaks loose with deranged percussion, screeching noise and bass thumps. It finishes with the sound of the cavalry charge played of course on a bugle. In summing up I would say that this while having many of the well known Nurse elements has a very unique sound that might not appeal to all fans. It has a very dry production and little depth in the sound, like it was being performed in a small backroom at a theatre. However while it’s skitting dark lunacy may turn some away others will find a wealth of amusement.