Gyllensköld, Geijerstam and I at Rydberg's
1983 12" BE L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords LAY3
Black vinyl copies in regular sleeve
Track Listing
Side A
  1. Several Odd Moments Prior to Lunch
  2. Phenomenon of Aquarium and Bearded Lady
Side B
  1. Dirty Fingernails [cmedd1161]
Vinyl Etchings
Sleeve Notes
thanks to: R. Haigh, F. McCrindell, M. Poole, J. Thirlwell , G. Tritton, J. Murphy. Engineering & ideas D. Kenny. I.P.S.

cartoon / Babs Santini , lithograph / Fiona A. Bur
Gyllensköld, Geijerstam and I at Rydberg's
2007 October CD CA United Jnana UNITED JNANA 399
In digipak
Track Listing
Original Vinyl Version
  1. Several Odd Moments Prior To Lunch (9:48)
  2. Phenomenon Of Aquarium And Bearded Lady (5:32)
  3. Dirty Fingernails (15:42) [cmedd1161]
Reworked CD version
  1. Odd (2:41) [dpromdcd140] [lay30] [ud038cd]
  2. Aquarium (5:58) [dpromdcd140] [lay30] [ud038cd]
  3. Dirty Fingernails (10:33) [dpromdcd140] [lay30] [ud038cd]
Diana Rogerson
Clint Ruin
Roman Jugg
Sleeve Notes
Steven Stapleton
David Tibet
Recorded at IPS 1982. Engineered by Peter McGhee. Original Front cover drawing and poster by Babs Santini. Original back lithograph by Fiona A Burr. Thanks to Christine Glover and Flora McCrindell for the use of their throats. CD layout by Mr Jackson. Remastered by Kevin Spencer of Robot Records. Vinyl version originally released on Laylah records, 1984. Reworked CD version originally released on United Dairies, 1993. Dedicated with love to Suzi Firenzo of Big Sur, California.
United Jnana presents a tasteful and well-executed digipak CD reissue of vintage Nurse With Wound material that hasn't been available in unaltered form since its original release on L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords back in 1983.

We've needed this for quite a while. Gyllensköld was a Nurse With Wound release that had never been particularly well-served by the early 1990s transition of the back catalog to CD. Instead of getting a straight CD reissue of the vinyl tracks, all fans had was the 1993 World Serpent disc entitled Large Ladies With Cake in the Oven, which contained the foreshortened, reworked versions of the tracks from the 1989 Gyllenskold/Brained LP along with a bunch of other odds and ends from various compilations and releases. All that seemed to unite the various pieces on Large Ladies was the fact that Clint Ruin AKA Jim Thirlwell/Foetus probably had a hand in most of the material included. Other than that, it was a largely illogical and annoying collection of mismatched odds and sods. That's why it's nice to have all of the original Gyllensköld vinyl back in print, in un-remixed versions. For completists, United Jnana has included the three reworked versions from Large Ladies as well, at the end of the CD so as not to disturb the original sequence. Now this is how it should be done.

This period in which Gyllensköld was recorded was a fantastic time for the evolution of Steven Stapleton's audio art. His collaborations with Diana Rogerson, Robert Haigh (Sema), David Tibet, and Thirlwell around this time elicited some of the most exciting work Nurse With Wound had yet recorded. Listen to this material and compare it to Chance Meeting and it becomes clear that in just a few years, Stapleton's art had grown by leaps and bounds. The production quality on these tracks is remarkable, and the widening out of the NWW soundworld opened up a whole new audio toybox that Stapleton has continued to experiment with up to today. This new sound encompasses vocal experiments, vintage LPs of easy listening music, demented nursery rhymes, lateral references to disposable pop music, avant-garde jazz and minimalistic piano composition, all glued together with evocative atmospheres redolent of things unholy, troubling and perverse, but always oddly indefinable and puzzlingly misshapen. In retrospect, Gyllensköld can be seen as the beginning of the "mature" period of NWW, and thus it is an indispensible release for fans of the project.

Perhaps influenced by the obsessions of his friend and collaborator Tibet, Stapleton also began weaving religious and occult references into his usual name-dropping of avant-garde artists and movements. The title of Gyllensköld was taken from an entry in dramatist August Strindberg's Occult Diary, a volume which represents either the record of a great writer's exploration of magic and mysticism, or the hallucinogenic scrawlings of a man in the grips of extreme paranoid psychosis, depending on your point of view. Similarly, NWW's Gyllensköld comes across at times as the soundtrack to a schizoid episode: disembodied voices intoning nonsense, floating subliminally across the stereo channels, or cackling in evil delight. The sounds are denser here than on earlier works such as Homotopy To Marie. Areas of silence are mostly gone, replaced by layers of drone, cartoonish noises and mutated voices. "Several Odd Moments Prior to Lunch" opens the brief album, setting the stage with its lysergically altered vocals and a frightening, yawning chasm of haunted, spectral sound. Stapleton, Thirlwell, and company learned how to wield the studio like an instrument on these and other recordings of the period. Effects such as reverb, delay, ring modulation and backwards tracking are utilized to create evolving textures and darkly psychedelic dreamspaces.

"Phenomenon of Aquarium and Bearded Lady" utilizes a number of instruments, including horns and piano, to create a bizarre dislocated funeral dirge in which the sounds of a slowly cycling jack-in-the-box are not out of place. For fans of musicians like Jacques Berrocal, who prefer their free jazz with a heavy dose of whacked-out eccentricity, this is about as good as it gets. "Dirty Fingernails" is something else entirely, a longform exploration of outré textures, combining mysterious trebly noises with percussive bleeps of mysterious origin. It all comes across like the soundtrack to an alechemical ritual performed by rickety Victorian-era cyborgs in an abandoned subway tunnel at the end of time. In other words, prime Nurse With Wound territory. The reworked versions tacked onto the end don't add anything special, and compare unfavorably to the originals, but it is nice that they are included. It's great to have this one back in print.

24 August 2008