Ostranenie 1913

Nurse with Wound

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Ostranenie 1913 Review

by James Mason

This release houses two slightly different versions of tracks from previous Nurse with Wound releases, "Ostranenie" from To the Quiet Men from a Tiny Girl, and "Dada" from Merzbild Schwet. Originally released on vinyl only, this has yet to make it to compact disc, and that's a real oversight, as this record brims with the kitchen-sink excitement of main Nurse Steven Stapleton's earliest, most exciting pieces. Collaborating with Current 93's David Tibet as well as John Fothergill and Jacques Berrocal, "Ostranenie" (the song) leans towards the isolationist ambient music that NWW pioneered in the early and mid-'80s. Eschewing any sense of melody or song structure, this 24-minute version aims for the heart of the void, with spectral whistles, found-sound recordings, context-less spoken word samples, and an impending sense of doom. It is nearly impossible to guess at the instrumentation used to create this kosmiche/psychedelic collage, in a good way. One of NWW's goals in the early days was disorientation, a shattering of preconceived notions, and on "Dada," they have certainly achieved it. Those not familiar with avant-garde or Dadaist music may have trouble even classifying this as music, but repeated deep listening reveals hidden connections between the disparate compositional elements Stapleton and company use to construct this soundworld. Unexpected silences abound among clattering metal, spoken word French from Crass member Eve Libertine, and primitive electronics. While hardly the place for beginners, Ostranenie 1913 is worth tracking down for those curious enough to have explored the NWW catalog and are intrigued by what they hear.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
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