NURSE WITH WOUND
from Huffin' Rag Blues (United Jnana)
Even taking the always unpredictable nature of Nurse With Wound into account, “Ketamineaphonia” still sounds a bit confusing. It doesn’t really resemble any of Steven Stapleton’s previous efforts, though it kinda sounds a little bit like the source material for 1985’s Sylvie And Babs’ High-Thigh Companion, pre-mangling. The majority of umpteenth album Huffin’ Rag Blues is lounge-y jazz, with a few weird/unsettling female vocal cameos (a little Julee Cruise here, a little Ellen-Burstyn-in-Requiem For A Dream there) and occasional brief ’n’ cryptic sound effects to throw your cocktail party just slightly off balance.
“Ketamineaphonia” opens with echoey, ’50s-soap-opera organ before a looped bongo-and-hand-claps pattern comes in, briefly doubling in speed after a weird steam-radiator hiss gives the signal. Other, unidentifiable sounds skitter and crunch as layers of keyboards create an ominous glow. The mood is almost out of David Lynch, as kitsch becomes paranoia and vague disquiet. It’s reminiscent of the quieter moments of J.G. Thirlwell’s Steroid Maximus and Manorexia projects, taking lounge and exotica sounds into the realm of night terrors. A smoky Lydia Lunch vocal would be the icing on this subtly distressing cake. [Click here to listen/download.]