Nurse With Wound: Images / Zero Mix
Beta-lactam Ring Records

Nurse With Wound's Images / Zero Mix arrives in a spectacular black box (four hundred copies produced) that contains the hardbound Angry Eelectric Finger book and two discs, Zero Mix and Requital for Lady Day, housed in heavy board sleeves. The book collects one hundred, multi-coloured paintings Steven Stapleton created using paint and vinyl salvaged from an Ireland landfill site (which were produced to celebrate the release of the three-album set Angry Eelectric Finger and were shown in galleries in Ireland and Portland ). No expense was spared in the book's deluxe presentation, with the images—much of them elaborately coloured quasi-psychedelic designs that contain body parts (eyes, hands, and vaginas predominate), numbers, type, and flowing lines—standing out boldly from the glossy pages. The book cover itself is given an embossed treatment and there's even a dust cover and high-gloss endpapers. Near the end of the book, photos of the mounted circular designs taken at the 2004 Burren School of Art exhibition in Ireland are shown too, and seeing them en masse provides an enhancing supplementary impression.

On the sonic side, Zero Mix (music by Stapleton and Colin Potter) is split into three uninterrupted sections, the first is a gloomy, congealing drone within which mechanical sounds slowly pan from side to side and an industrial cloud slowly grows in size; the monstrous second part's a sickly-sounding exercise in writhing noise violence while the more inviting third weaves flute and tenor sax soloing over an aquatic flow of plucked bass tones and percussive treatments. The bonus disc, Requital for Lady Day, begins with the haunted title composition, a rather somber and mystery-laden weave of flute and sax playing, and follows it with the half-hour “Ocean,” an oft-turbulent, see-sawing drone filled with ringing masses of metallic ebb and flow. Couple the book and case with the two discs and you've got a pretty incredible set.

August 2008