UNITED DAIRIES
Flawed Existence
Details
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66
300 Subscriber edition
4x black vinyl 12" in velour sleeves
1x clear red vinyl 10" in velour sleeve
1x clear red vinyl 5" in paper sleeve
Soundchip greeting card
Poster
T-Shirt
Limitation certificate
Velour box
Various red to light red pillow-case with black silkscreened lettering
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66
99 Friends edition
4x red vinyl 12" in velour sleeves
1x clear red vinyl 10" in velour sleeve
1x clear red vinyl 5" in paper sleeve
Soundchip greeting card
Poster
T-Shirt
Friends limitation certificate
Velour box
Dark wine-red or blue pillow-case with black silkscreened lettering
Silk screened LP sized drawing by Babs Santini
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66
300 Standard edition
4x black vinyl 12" in velour sleeves
1x black vinyl 10" in velour sleeve
Soundchip greeting card
Poster
T-Shirt
Limitation certificate
Velour box
2009 December 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66
150 US/Forced Exposure edition
4x white vinyl 12" in velour sleeves
1x white vinyl 10" in velour sleeve
Soundchip greeting card
Poster
T-Shirt
US limitation certificate
Velour box
2009 December 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66
50 US/Forced Exposure edition
4x white vinyl 12" in velour sleeves
1x white vinyl 10" in velour sleeve
1x black vinyl 5" in paper sleeve
Soundchip greeting card
Poster
T-Shirt
US limitation certificate
Velour box
White pillow-case with black silkscreened lettering
Silk screened LP sized drawing by Babs Santini
Other Images
Reviews
This large box of vinyl collects up tons of odds and ends from the Nurse With Wound archive years and it is a considerably good collection of Steven Stapleton's earliest sonic explorations. The hours of material included here cover all the tape collections, compilation tracks and live recordings that have been out of print for years (decades in most cases). It goes without saying that this is a treasure trove for anyone like me who looks at those rare recordings for sale online, looks in their wallet and sighs with resignation that those recordings will go to someone else. With superb sound quality and a decadent presentation (well, red velour), it is an absolute goldmine of classic recordings and I simply cannot get enough of it.

The first two LPs in this box set compiles all the Nurse With Wound tracks from the Scrag, Mi-Mort and Nylon Coverin' Body Smotherin' cassettes. These recordings provide a fantastic alternative history of Nurse With Wound as Stapleton included works in progress and alternative versions of tracks that would make up his classic albums on these albums. Some of the pieces appear here more or less as they would end up, such as "Nylon Coverin' Body Smotherin'" which would end up becoming "Brained by Falling Masonry." However, other pieces like "Someone Others Aquarium" which would end up as "Phenomenon of Aquarium and Bearded Lady" on Gyllensköld, Geijerstam and I at Rydberg's demonstrate how much Stapleton tinkered with his creations in order to get to the finished work (although considering how much he recycles his source sounds, when is a work considered finished down Cooloorta way?).

Miscellaneous compilation tracks are collected on the third LP and these provide a further insight into how the early Nurse With Wound albums came to be. Another version of "Phenomenon of Aquarium and Bearded Lady" makes an appearance and a couple of Chrystal Belle Scrodd tracks are also included (but both of these are easily available on the Belle de Jour CD reissue). The real items of interest on this part of the compilation are the pieces that never made it beyond the compilation tape. "Smooching with the Sacred Cow of Om" and "Mystery Track No. 2" both show very different sides to Stapleton's approach to music compared to the other early recordings included on Flawed Existence. Both of these tracks are from the tail end of the 80s and show that Stapleton was moving towards the more varied (and more musical) sound that defined Nurse With Wound in the 90s much earlier than I thought.

The fourth LP is given over to recordings from Nurse With Wound's short foray into live performances in 1984. The Current 93/Nurse With Wound split release NL-Centrum Amsterdam was originally released on tape in 1985 but quickly deleted due to both David Tibet and Stapleton not being happy with the final product. It has been one of those releases that has evaded me for years so I am delighted to finally hear it. Violent and dangerous sounding, Diana Rogerson dominates the performance and her vocals have rarely sounded this unhinged. The chaotic sounds emanating from the speakers are much busier and more frenetic than those Nurse With Wound unleash in the studio. The sensation of not knowing what is going on (and the feeling that the band don't either) runs through the live recordings, capturing the same creative germ that gave the world Chance Meeting....

The other side of the LP contains the original version of Live at Bar Maldoror including the untitled piece that never made it onto the CD reissue. Less boisterous than NL-Centrum Amsterdam, it sounds more like the Nurse With Wound found in the studio. The performance is more tempered, there is less going on and a greater emphasis is placed on atmosphere. The music has a creeping dread underlying it that gets under my skin. It puts me in the same unsettling place that Insect and Individual Silenced does and, like that album, I cannot understand why both these live recordings have remained out of print for so long (Stapleton's bad memories of the whole experience aside).

The item of most interest to Nurse With Wound collectors is the 10" which contains two unreleased pieces called the Destroyed Piano suite. Recorded in 1983, these two pieces are quite unlike Stapleton's other works from that time; they do not rely on studio trickery at all. Instead, the scraping sounds (of a piano I am guessing) seem to be recorded as they were. The different sound textures are captured so vividly and seem so much larger than life that it is possible to imagine Stapleton inside a giant piano, scraping strings and rubbing the great wooden walls with various objects.

Most of the LPs have far more than the expected amount of music packed onto each side, the average being about half an hour. Therefore I was apprehensive as to how Flawed Existence would sound. However, at no point was there undue distortion or noticeable degradation in sound quality. In fact, all of Flawed Existence sounds great and it is a vast improvement on the original releases (even though most, if not all, the music was mastered from the cassettes). For convenience, I would have gone for a CD collection of this material but overall, it is impossible to fault this box set for its completeness and quality.

John Kealy

25 October 2009
Scrag / Mi-Mort / Nylon Coverin' Body Smotherin'
Details
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 1/2
99 red vinyl copies in gatefold velour sleeve
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 1/2
501 black vinyl copies in gatefold velour sleeve
Track Listing
Side 1a -Scrag-
  1. Pleasant Banjo With Irritating Squeak [dpromdcd101] [ud032] [udt31]
  2. Wisecrack [dpromdcd101] [ud038cd] [udt31]
  3. Scissor Rock Bicycle Revelation [dpromdcd101] [ud032] [udt31]
  4. Someone Others Aquarium [dpromdcd101] [udt31]
  5. Dream Of A Butterfly Inside A Skull Of A Horse [dpromdcd101] [udt31]
  6. It's All Gone Weird / Nasal Hair [dpromdcd101] [udt31]
  7. Sinan Sings For Her Chums [dpromdcd101] [ud032] [udt31]
  8. Ritva Sings For The World [cc001] [dpromdcd101] [ud032] [udt31]
  9. Automating (Some More) [dpromdcd101] [udt31]
  10. It Just Ain't So / In Heaven [dpromdcd101] [rm01] [ud032] [udt31]
Side 1b -Mi-Mort-
  1. Ooh Baby (Coo Coo) (6:29) [mi-mort3] [nwwma] [stappleton01]
  2. Fashioned To A Device Behind A Tree (7:42) [mi-mort3] [slcd021] [ud019] [wdc881021]
  3. I Was No Longer His Dominant (9:04) [mi-mort3] [ud012] [ud019]
  4. A Snake In Your Abdomen (6:40) [mi-mort3] [nwwma] [stappleton01]
Side 2a -Nylon Coverin' Body Smotherin'-
  1. Nylon Coverin' Body Smotherin' (11:32) [mi-mort4]
  2. A Token Sylvie and Babs Ditty Chicken In Drag (1:45) [mi-mort4] [nwwma]
  3. Glory Hole (6:40) [art053bd] [lay30] [lay7] [mi-mort4] [ud038cd]
Side 2b -Nylon Coverin' Body Smotherin'-
  1. Automating (Again) (9:15)
  2. Well What D'ya Know Henry? (5:54) [mi-mort4] [stappleton01]
Tape Compilation Tracks
Details
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 3
99 red vinyl copies in velour sleeve
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 3
501 black vinyl copies in velour sleeve
Track Listing
Side 3a -Tape Compilation Tracks-
  1. Zappo-leon VII (5:44) [cc001] [nwwma]
  2. Alas The Madonna Functions (3:37) [nwwckg] [nwwma] [pey86]
  3. Call Me Bunny (2:44) [cc001] [dpromdcd101] [ud032] [udt31]
  4. Chair Improvisation No. 4 (3:43) [nwwckg] [ud021] [ud041] [ztj4]
  5. Charlie Hosts A Pork-Pie Parasite (2:57) [ud021] [ud041] [ztj4]
  6. Cottonwood Hill (2:31) [ud093] [vn003]
  7. Our Passions Are Inclined (2:54) [bb006]
  8. Someone Others Garden (7:36) [nwwckg] [nwwma] [stappleton01] [tmt05] [vod120]
Side 3b -Tape Compilation Tracks-
  1. Summer Belongs To Me (5:19) [hh00]
  2. The Right To Kiss (1:53) [ct06]
  3. Smooching With The Sacred Cow of Om (5:43) [dmc02]
  4. Yoko's Anniversary (2:28) [nwwma] [stappleton01] [xxx17]
  5. The Strange Life Of August Strindberg (2:22) [artaman23] [t14] [zss86025]
  6. Diana Of The Moon (5:17) [mtt23]
  7. Mystery Track No. 2 from United Dairies 1979-1987 Tape Box (8:35)
Live N.L. Centrum Amsterdam, 8.12.1984 / Gyllensköld, Geigerstam & Friends Live At Bar Maldoror 1984
Details
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 4
99 red vinyl copies in velour sleeve
2009 September 12" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 4
501 black vinyl copies in velour sleeve
Track Listing
Side 4a -Live N.L. Centrum-Amsterdam 8.12.1984-
  1. Let Go Johnny (31:35) [st00f]
Side 4b -Gyllensköld, Geijerstam & Friends Live At Bar Maldoror 1984-
  1. Tickling That Great Pudarkus In The Sky (16:22) [st00f]
  2. Untitled (15:38) [mm3]
Sleeve Notes
flawed existence
all these tracks date from the early to mid eighties, at that time we were in the midst of the d.i.y cassette revolution. during that period everybody and their dog were compiling "international" tape compilations which, if you were luckily and took part in one of these endeavours may have gone on to sell 20 copies and you, for your trouble would receive a copy. well, in the eighties I didn't get out much so i contributed to 15 or 20 of these international compilations, mostly i supplied a mix of of whatever it was i was working on at the time. thinking these pieces were destined to oblivion...until frank maier came along. other material here included some rather dodgy live events that i suppose at best could be thought as of slight historical value. more interesting is "destroyed piano" from 1983 recorded at i.p.s. studio, london just after completing "homotopy to marie". i always liked these but until now they never found a home. most of flawed existence was remastered from cassette.
i would like to thank matt waldron for all his painstaking work in bringing the sound quality up to scratch and to frank maier for his endless enthusiasm.
steven stapleton, cooloorta, july 2009
Destroyed Piano I & II
Details
2009 September 10" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 5
300 red vinyl copies in velour sleeve
2009 September 10" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 5
300 black vinyl copies in velour sleeve
Track Listing
Side 5a
  1. Destroyed Piano I (18:14)
Side 5b
  1. Destroyed Piano II (18:12)
Big Muff And Hawtrey
Details
2009 September 5" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 6
300 red vinyl copies in paper sleeve
2009 September 5" DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 6
300 black vinyl copies in paper sleeve
Track Listing
Side 6a
  1. Big Muff and Hawtrey (0:55)
  2. Big Muff and Hawtrey v.v. (0:55)
Side 6b
  1. The Cockroach Of Del Monte (edit) (2:40)
Big Muff and Hawtrey
Details
2009 September Soundchip DE Vinyl On Demand VOD66 SC
600 greetings card with soundchip
Track Listing
  1. Big Muff And Hawtrey (0:55)