The Bacteria Magnet
Details
2008 June 12" UK Dirter Promotions DPROMEP66
300 white vinyl copies in regular sleeve
signed by Steven Stapleton and Andrew Liles
2008 June 12" UK Dirter Promotions DPROMEP66
500 black vinyl copies in regular sleeve
Track Listing
Side 1
  1. Cruisin' For A Bruisin' (Bacteria Bitch Mix) [dpromdcd105]
  2. Bei Mir Bist Du Schön [dpromdcd105]
Side 2
  1. Thrill Of Romance...? (Burgo Partridge Mix) [dpromdcd105]
  2. The Bottom Feeder [dpromdcd105]
Personnel
Suzi Firenza
Taundewei L. Hodge
Jay Jay
Sleeve Notes
'The Bacteria Magnet' was written, recorded and remixed at the Bear Den, Brighton, UK.
'Crusin' for a Bruisin'' and 'Thrill of Romance...?' appear in an alternative guise on the CD 'Huffin Rag Blues'.

Steven Stapleton . Andrew Liles
Freida Abtan vocals on 'Thrill of Romance...?'
Suzi Firenza vocals on 'Ber mir bist du schön'
Taundewei L. Hodge & Jay Jay: bitchin'

Exterior sleeve art by Babs Santini with Julia Kramer. Inner sleeve art by the Fat Controller. Photo by Andy Keetch. Layout by paul Jackson.
Extra special thanks to Maude Swift, Fat 'Fillyjonk' Fez, Sarah Redpath, Steve Pittis and Mark Logan.
Reviews
In a situation that is not entirely unexpected, the latest album from Steven Stapleton has caused much controversy amongst fans with opinions ranging from it being one of his best to it being one of his biggest turds. Even here on Brainwashed, opinions were mixed with the review here concluding that "disappointment" sums up the album to my own view that it is pretty damn good. This 12" will probably not change many people's views of the album, it is an aside that those who are enjoying Huffin' Rag Blues will dig but I am not so sure about those who found it hard to stomach.

Two of the album's tracks get reworked on The Bacteria Magnet. The first is "Cruising for a Bruising," one of the better offerings on Huffin' Rag Blues whose motorik beat and collage of noise sounds like Faust covering Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" (which would be a very lovely thing if it were to happen). Unfortunately the mix on The Bacteria Magnet is not quite as captivating. It is a bit flaccid here, lacking the oomph of the album version. It is like listening to the same song coming from someone else's car as they drive frustratingly slow in front of you.

However, this is the only stumble on the 12" and from here on in, things are mightily interesting. The alternative mix of "Thrill of Romance..." works far better than the Huffin' mix. The twisted spin on MOR jazz is menacing and mesmerising; Freida Abtan's vocals seem almost dead, the emotion stripped down to a lonely husk. The music moves from being a fairly standard double bass and organ arrangement to a progressively stranger buzzing and whirring swirl of sound.

The two non-album pieces are both of a high quality. "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" takes the slow, jazzy romance song and turns it on its head. The pulsing noise (out of time with the vocals) and the shimmering Lilith-esque drones make for quite an unsettling experience. "The Bottom Feeder" is more like old school Nurse than any of the other pieces here. It is a chaotic mess of sound, switching between destroyed rhythms and aural abstractions that make Nurse With Wound the constantly rewarding beast that it is.

The old time rock'n roll and surf influences along with the sheer strangeness of Stapleton's arrangements bring to mind David Lynch's appropriation and warping of '50s and '60s American pop music in his movies to make the surreal situations seem more familiar than they should be (such as the prostitutes dancing to "The Locomotio" in Inland Empire or the jitterbug scene at the start of Mullholland Dr.). Maybe because Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti have done this sort of thing so well for so long that Nurse With Wound's move in this direction does not sound so fresh. I know Stapleton has tried something similar before with Sylvie and Babs but to my mind, this is a Lynchian approach to those rock'n roll and lounge standards. The Bacteria Magnet and Huffin' Rag Blues are a great experiment but I wonder if this is a temporary digression by Stapleton or whether he will be working with similar sources for a long time (and if so, does this style have the longevity to warrant another album)?

John Kealy

27 July 2008
The Bacteria Magnet
Details
2009 April 12" UK Dirter Promotions DPROMEP66
500 picture vinyl copies in regular sleeve
signed by Steven Stapleton and/or Andrew Liles or with picture drawn on
Track Listing
Side 1
  1. Cruisin' For A Bruisin' (Bacteria Bitch Mix) [dpromdcd105]
  2. Bei Mir Bist Du Schön [dpromdcd105]
Side 2
  1. Thrill Of Romance...? (Burgo Partridge Mix) [dpromdcd105]
  2. The Bottom Feeder [dpromdcd105]
Personnel
Suzi Firenza
Taundewei L. Hodge
Jay Jay
Sleeve Notes
'The Bacteria Magnet' was written, recorded and remixed at the Bear Den, Brighton, UK.
'Crusin' for a Bruisin'' and 'Thrill of Romance...?' appear in an alternative guise on the CD 'Huffin Rag Blues'.

Steven Stapleton . Andrew Liles
Freida Abtan vocals on 'Thrill of Romance...?'
Suzi Firenza vocals on 'Ber mir bist du schön'
Taundewei L. Hodge & Jay Jay: bitchin'

Exterior sleeve art by Babs Santini with Julia Kramer. Inner sleeve art by the Fat Controller. Photo by Andy Keetch. Layout by paul Jackson.
Extra special thanks to Maude Swift, Fat 'Fillyjonk' Fez, Sarah Redpath, Steve Pittis and Mark Logan.