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Nurse With Wound - The Wire Interview

Just read this and thought i'd post it here Smile

Quote: The deepest throb of electronics pulse and waver beneath six scraped strings. The acid sear of 3rd-eye-aimed lead guitar strikes out: destination - elsewhere. The car-start buzz, the treated feedback trill, the paradigm blast of Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table Of A Sewing Machine And An Umbrella. In the 18 years since this Nurse With Wound debut LP, they remain unequalled in terms of sheer outsider invention.

Housed in a Dada-spewed sleeve of sado-slave imagery and eye-popping surrealist collage, Chance Meeting... (Lautreamont's famous reply to "What is Surrealism?") single-handedly created and defined an aesthetic and was blamed for plenty more. Inside was the near-mythical Nurse 'list' - an A to Z of avant-whup and visionary excess, name-checking the likes of Group 1850, Brainticket, This Heat, Yoko Ono, Cromagnon, Faust, John Cage..."Categories strain, crack and sometimes break, under their burden", reads the text, "Step out of the space provided."

Two months earlier, Throbbing Gristle had released their debut LP Second Annual Report and launched 'Industrial' Records - their's was a superficially like-sounding turf-plow through semi-improvised electronic noise and black imagery. Via the weakest of logical leaps Nurse, in the wake of Chance Meeting..., were tagged as 'Industrial'. It stuck.

"We were associated with 'Industrial' music purely due to the fact that we were around at the same time and our album cover was 'dark'," bemoans Steven Stapleton aka Nurse With Wound, "it didn't matter what the music was like. I mean, in reality our music was much closer to free improvisation - Incus and FMP, things like that. There's no comparison between Throbbing Gristle or Industrial music and Nurse. To me Nurse music is Surrealist music. It's the displacement of something ordinary into an extraordinary setting. I take ordinary things - instruments, solos, what have you, and place them in unusual settings, giving a completely different angle on the way instruments and composition are looked at." Just as Surrealism functioned as a rupture or a breakdown in the teleology of empirical reality, an exhumation of the subconscious, so 'noise' exposes the sonic chaos at the base of all music. The surrealism of Nurse With Wound is a mischievous and heady disruption, an attack on order and form, laced with the blackest of humors.

Despite the inclusion of the aforementioned list as some kind of openly genre defiant gesture, dunderhead logic prevailed and even today there are still some deluded parties convinced they 'know' what Nurse are 'all about'.

"The Nurse list was an attempt to get in contact with like-minded people that were interested in the kind of music that we were interested in which is, like it says on the list, 'electric experimental music'. We met loads of people through that list, and since then, it's become legendary. I mean there's things on the list that don't exist - I'm not saying what they are but I've seen them on people's want- lists for hundreds of pounds."

I met Stapleton at Finsbury Park, May 4th, 12:30pm. The Rock 'N' Roll Station. We'd met (briefly) the night before after the Current 93 show at The Union Chapel, exchanged pleasantries, chatted on the phone a couple of times before that. As a rule he doesn't do interviews; in fact, he actively discourages publicity, quoting Cage collaborator Morton Feldman's comment that the best environment to make music in is one in which "nobody cares." We're both nervous as all hell.

I catch sight of him slumped against the tube gates, a reanimated Victorian cadaver, his trademark top hat peeled and curling, all black draped and out of time. Round black shades blank his perpetual teary-eyed gaze, drizzled blond hair tangles from his hat. His beard sprout strikes just the right side of gonzoid as he twists and pirouettes his moustache. "I have to have my beard fairly short these days," he explains, "I kept getting it caught in my tools."

As we cross Highbury Corner, Stapleton doesn't seem pleased to be back in London. He's secluded himself on his Coolorta goat farm in County Clare, Southern Ireland since 1989, rarely venturing back to the capital. "I left London for a lot of reasons," he confides, "I didn't really want my children to have to grow up here. London's not the same as it was, it's got nothing to offer me anymore. Also, I got mugged by a couple of guys at Finsbury Park, they got me on the ground, held a knife to my throat, called me a honky bastard. The next day my wife got mugged. I'd had enough." He shakes his head, rolling a cigarette as he scans up and down the street. "When Morton Feldman was young he said nobody cared about his music - his parents, his friends, his brothers and sisters, and he said it was the most creative period of his life. He was left alone to do what he wanted to do without influences from people around him - I feel very much for that. I've almost done that with my stopping replying to mail and stopping being involved in musical discussions with friends, shutting myself off in Ireland. I find it's just the best way for me to work, completely alone when it comes to my music."

"I lock myself in my little room, I make my music, put it on a CD, and it just goes out into the world and then I hear nothing. I don't get reviewed, I don't get anyone writing to say what they thought about the music. After 10 years of replying to mail I decided I wasn't going to do it anymore, so I don't hear anything. There's still no reviews. It's weird, you put all this creativity into something and it just disappears..."

We arrive at the pub where we've arranged to meet up with David Tibet of Current 93, Steven's closest friend and collaborator, and Christoph Heemann, the German avant- soundscapist of H.N.A.S. 'fame' and wearer of braces. We share a few beers, some cruddy mango burgers, and David's farmyard jokes before they head off again to pick up some missing Joe Meek CDs. Steven gazes after them; "Although I'm very much a solitary person," he mourns, "there's another side of me which says, y'know, get out there and have fun and meet people and go and get drunk and stuff like this, but when it comes to creativity, whether I'm building a new goat house, mixing cement, making a sculpture, painting a picture, or making music, it's all the same. The same energy goes into it and there's no room for anybody else. That's why Nurse could never be a band - I'm not interested in compromising at all."

These are the two defining qualities which mark Stapleton out and inform virtually all of his life decisions - an essentially solitary character with a complete unwillingness to compromise either himself or his art. Growing up in Finchley, London, Stapleton's early ambition was to make it into Art School, eventually attending Hornsey Art School, putting up with it's stifling atmosphere for a grand total of seven days. "I dropped out, it was such a disappointment, I thought it would be wonderful," he sighs, "I didn't work, I took a year off. I was 16 then and, looking back, it was the most influential year of my life. It was the year I realized that you don't have to work and that there was wonderful music out there - Psychedelic Underground and White Light/White Heat were my two big discoveries. I spent a year in my room wanking, basically, masturbating every day, twenty times a day. I think that's where I developed the idea of doing things alone." He grins, sliding his glasses off for the first time, "I really enjoyed that year. I was really interested in biology, I had 5 or 6 fish tanks in my room full of creatures and I was studying them, listening to Amon Duul and the Velvets, and dreaming about females. Then I got into Krautrock, left my room, and went to Germany at 17."

The musical upheaval in Germany, led off by the likes of Xhol and Kluster between (roughly) '68 and '72 was an epiphanal head blast for the young Stapleton, provoking a whirlwind of obsessive collecting and drooly proselytizing.

"When I was 13 or 14 I went into Virgin on Oxford Street and I saw this amazing record in the shop," says Steven, "Psychedelic Underground by Amon Duul, this ridiculously expensive import at the time. I just had to have it so I bought it and took it home and it knocked me out, never heard anything like it at all, even today it's more anarchistic than virtually any record I've ever heard. That was a complete new start of life for me, I searched out all the other Amon Duul albums that were around at the time and found out about all the other German bands." Soon Steven and his friend Heman Pathak, whom he would soon found Nurse with, had packed their bags and were headed for Germany to experience the madness first hand. "We stayed there for virtually a year," he explains, "meeting the bands, collecting all the limited edition albums, partying with them, roadie-ing with them. I roadied for Guru Guru and Kraan at the time and helped out loads of other bands like Birth Control and Embryo. I did some artwork for them, designed some sleeves, including one for Cluster which got rejected by the record company. German music is so completely different to the music in the rest of Europe and England. At the time it was totally frowned upon - I was staying with Connie Plank the engineer and he was saying that he just couldn't get anything released in America or England, nobody was interested."

Steven's babbling, fired up. Drowning out The Stone Roses, he slams back a Becks; "What happened in Germany was unprecedented - I mean, it only lasted for a maximum of 4 years, but what it produced in those years is absolutely stunning, even today," he rants. "I always knew that one day it would turn around, one day people would appreciate them." So what does he think of the current Krautrock revival, of Julian Cope's book? "I'm ecstatically pleased about it," he continues, "I think it's brilliant, even just personally so as I can get all the CD reissues as they come out. I think what Julian Cope's done is fucking brilliant, I loved his book. So many people can now experience the real thing, they don't have to listen to fucking Stereolab - listen to Neu!, listen to where Stereolab ripped off all their ideas from. All these techno bands who ripped off Kraftwerk - people don't know about how Cluster single-handedly started off the whole acid house movement. Check out the first couple of Möebius records, years ahead of their time and the first Kraftwerk album, it's just so stunning and revolutionary and advanced, no one's beaten it even today.

"I think it's the most important movement in modern music. I mean, fuck The Beatles! Krautrock had nothing to do with The Beatles, it came from classical avant-garde and free jazz, it didn't come from pop. It was really self-contained, brutal, hard, and cold, and I just loved it. I think the only reason Can came up with the story about how they heard The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus" and were inspired to start a band was because they wanted to be accepted by western musicians and fans - they're gonna say that just to get 'in'. Schmidt came from Stockhausen, Liebzeit from free jazz." So were the Nurse seeds planted out in Germany? "Oh yeah, for the first time I really felt that I'd found real kindred spirits, this was what I wanted to do - especially the cold relentlessness of the first two Kraftwerk albums, Kluster, Amon Duul, I was absolutely moved by it. Later, through my label United Dairies, I tried to bring over Krautrock music which I felt had been totally ignored and put it out in England. I released the Guru Guru album and recorded some stuff with Uli Trepte (the Hot On Spot/Inbetween LP UD024) who used to be in Neu! and Faust. I got other people like Pole, Limpe Fuchs, Anima - I released them on U.D. and involved as many Krautrock people as I could in projects."

Stapleton returned to Britain, running the gamut of low-paid drudgework and plowing all his earnings right back into his record collection. "I had no interest in playing music before Nurse," he claims, "I just loved listening to it - I mean, friends used to come round and say 'God the stuff you're listening to is such shit, anybody could do it, anyone could bang those tins together' or whatever but I didn't want to." So where did the impetus come to start up Nurse With Wound? "Well, what happened was I was working as a sign writer in a studio, putting names on doors, and the backs of chairs, etc., and I got talking to the engineer about experimental music. He said that if I knew anybody who wanted to do some recording that was experimental and different then to contact him and he'd give them cheap rates. It was a really good 48-track studio in Berwick Street, Soho." It was an opportunity too unlikely and too seemingly fated to pass up and Stapleton swiftly made up some bull story about playing in an experimental band. The studio was booked for Saturday. "I went home, phoned up my two closest mates John Fothergill and Heeman Pathak, and said, '... we're in a band, get an instrument of some sort, anything that makes a sound, come down on Saturday and we'll see what happens' and in one day we recorded Chance Meeting... - our first ever session."

As a first experiment, an accidental recording session, the electronic disruption of Chance Meeting... is revelatory. Although nominally inspired by Kraut freedom moves, it was musically adrift from any such convenient reference points. Sure, there was the Ax Genrich space search guitar of "Two Mock Projections," but there was also dropped slabs of musique concréte, stabbed Derek Bailey dynamics, gothic cathedral organ haunt, and primitive, howled vocals all hurled together with the aesthetics of the possessed.

"Totally improvised. It was all recorded in about 6 hours and mixed in 2 hours the next day and we'd never even played before," exclaims Stapleton proudly, "I'd never in my life picked up an instrument before. It was just so pure - if you can get that pure, y'know? They had no idea, the other two guys in the band, what to do but I had a kind of idea, I was the one with the musical background really."

"We wanted to do something that was electric, that was the only thing we had in common, we all liked kind of improvised music but electric improvised music and John Fothergill bought a guitar, the other guy bought a Bontempi organ and I just made up loads of metal percussion from where I was working at the time, in an engraving shop. We had no idea it was going to lead into another album afterwards, it was purely just see what happens. After the first day we were so ecstatic with it, we just couldn't believe it. We all went back to my place and we put on the rough tape really loud and we just thought, 'God this is amazing, we can do it!' That's how it started."

We take a break, get a few more beers in, Steven slides his shades back on. "Jesus," he sighs, "I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm really nervous and I've just clammed up. I don't understand it." He wanders off to the bar. Clammed up? He's barely paused for breath.

On his return he rolls another cigarette and inhales deeply, psyching himself: "Right, where was I?" He continues, "Yeah, we thought this stuff was so off the wall, nobody was going to be interested in it. At the time the punk movement had started and people were starting to do things on their own, just one or two people and we just got the idea of putting it out ourselves. We didn't ever think we could sell 500 copies, though, but we sold them all within a week. All gone. Rough Trade took about 100, Virgin took loads. They liked the cover - they thought it was totally outrageous."

"As soon as we put the first record out on our own United Dairies label we thought, well, we can do it. There was a German record label that all of us admired called Ohr and it was always fascinating because every time you found something on the label it would be interesting and different - good cover designs. We were inspired by them. So, we heard an EP called Spoonfed And Writhing by The Lemon Kittens and we got in contact with them and put their first album, and we met a band called The Bombay Ducks and released their album. By that time our second album, To The Quiet Men From A Tiny Girl, was finished and that came out - it just escalated."

To The Quiet Men From A Tiny Girl and the subsequent Merzbild Schwet LP (which found them reduced to a duo of Stapleton and Fothergill) saw Nurse retreat into something less tangible, falling back on the disturbing use of warped, treated voices and more advanced studio buggery tactics. However, the next official Nurse LP, Homotopy To Marie, would become the first real Stapleton solo piece. As Steve explains; "I fell out with John due to The Lemon Kittens. Basically, he fell in love with Danielle (Dax) and that kind of split us up permanently, and for a year I ran a United Dairies and he ran a United Dairies. The only time we would converse would be whenever we were putting something out, just so we didn't get the catalogue numbers mixed up. He put out The Bombay Ducks album I mentioned and The Lemon Kittens Cake Beast album - I wouldn't have released Cake Beast, I didn't like it very much, and I certainly wouldn't have put out The Bombay Ducks album."

The inevitable confrontation took place with an agreement being reached that Steven would continue to run United Dairies and John would run his own Commercial Records as a U.D. subsidiary. Commercial Records went on to release two LPs which, according to Stapleton, were "shit".

Following a couple of collaborative efforts, (Insect And Individual Silenced with Jim Thirwell aka Foetus and The 150 Murderous Passions... with William Bennett of Whitehouse), Homotopy To Marie was the first post-split Nurse product and for Steven the first real Nurse With Wound LP; "I'd finally acquired knowledge of studios and recording techniques, how to get certain sounds." says Steven, "I'd also learned a little bit about composition, how to build a track up, how to add dynamics to it, which I had no idea of before. I could find my way around a mixing desk. I was really happy with that album - took about a year to record on and off. Looking back it was the one album that showed the direction I was going to go." It's a ghostly LP, exhibiting a warmth not previously associated with Nurse releases, full of restrained passion and dynamic, unearthly brood.

1983 was a real turning point for Stapleton, he'd finally freed himself from the compromising influence of band-mates and he was about to meet his lifelong collaborator and friend; "I met Tibet at an Industrial festival, (The Equinox Event at the L.M.C, according to Tibet)," laughs Stapleton, "I was supposed to be playing, I was going to paint this huge backdrop a-la Rolf Harris and play a tape I'd made to accompany it. I had all the canvas set up and then I got into an argument with some guy who pissed on me. In these Industrial gigs back then there was this nonchalance, y'know, fuck everything, fuck this, fuck that, Nazi bands were playing there, Pure, fucking morons like that. Anyway, I'm sitting at the front with William Bennet (Whitehouse) and some guy just got his dick out and started pissing on the stage and he turned round and it just went all over my legs. I got really angry and we started a fight, I remember saying to him 'Get the fuck out of here, I'm going to beat your fucking head in' and he said 'I ain't fucking going until Nurse With Wound have played', and I said 'I'm fucking Nurse With Wound and I'm not fucking playing' and I went over to the pub across the road and just sat there really fucking angry. I was determined I wasn't going to play, not if that cunt was in there, so David Tibet came over and said he'd just seen what had happened. 'Hello, my name's David Tibet, I'm with Psychic TV, I like what you do, can I buy you a drink?' We chatted and he became a very close friend very quickly and is now my closest friend."

Tibet had just left Psychic TV (or so he claims, Stapleton remembers it differently) and had played at The Equinox under the name Dog's Blood Order. For some time he had been toying with the idea of forming a group to explore his twin obsessions, which he described as "apocalyptic and eschatological religious imagery and children's nursery rhymes." Having recently completed sessions for Lashtal with Fritz, 23 Skidoo's drummer and fellow PTV member John Balance, Tibet invited Stapleton to join Current for the recording of the Nature Unveiled LP and Steve reciprocated his offer on a 12 inch EP by Nurse called Gyllenskold, Geijerstam and I at Rydbergs. Tibet had recently dismissed Fritz and fallen out with Balance (who later founded Coil) over his refusal to leave Psychic TV. It's a convoluted chronology packed with the half memories and contradictions of apocrypha, lending it a fitting drape of mystery.

"I suppose my role in the band was to help create the music for his voice," shrugs Stapleton. "Tibet loved Nurse and David guests on virtually every Nurse album. It was a meeting of kindred spirits, I love him dearly. He's a very talented bloke and I like the energy working with him, he's really honest about things and he puts a lot of effort into getting things right, like he'll do 20 takes of a vocal to get it exactly as he wants it. It's good to work with someone who can just say to me, I want this kind of atmosphere and I create it for him.

"I almost prefer working with Current 93 to doing my own stuff. Nurse is very taxing on myself, but with Current I can relax because I know that the main focal point is David, his poetry and his delivery. To underline that is really simple. It's evolved now to the point that I'm the sort of mixer/producer of Current 93, as David get's more and more into the folk side of things my role is, again, adding the surreal touch. The last few Current albums have been very folky but with a strange, surreal twist, I come in and add feedback, and perhaps a child-like quality."

After the Klaus Shultz-esque spaceways drift of 1986's Spiral Insana and the meditative mantra float of the 3 LP Soliloquy For Lilith set, Stapleton made his retreat to Ireland and his goat farm. In direct contrast to the claustrophobic intensity of the earlier Nurse stuff, sometime around Spiral Insana Stapleton's music began to really open out and became much more expansive in intent. Steven agrees, "I recorded Spiral Insana before I went to Ireland, but I was already starting to go that way. I was getting older, having children, becoming more spaced out ... thats definitely happened, it feels like a natural, organic development to go that way. I'm quite anti-that, though, in a way, I always like to throw a spanner in the works. That's something I think I did with the almost dancey Rock'n'Roll Station album, nobody expected anything like that. It was a real surprise, even to me, because I didn't know I was going to make an album like that. Maybe it reflects the fact that I don't really listen to a lot of music concrete and experimental classical these days or free jazz and improvised music."

Steven explains his new-found interest in rhythm, which has manifested itself in the last couple of Nurse LPs, Rock'n'Roll Station and Who Can I Turn To Stereo?, as being due to a fascination with a mambo musician by the name of Perez Prado; "I heard him for the first time in my life about 4 years ago and was obsessed with him for years. I was frantically collecting any Perez Prado material - it's heavily rhythmic and that's what I've spent the last 3 years listening to and it's certainly influenced my music."

"I mean, I've no interest in dance music, I don't dance - my hat would fall off. Even the stuff that's on Who Can I Turn To Stereo? and Rock'n'Roll Station that are sort of dancey or rhythmic, I might tap my foot to them but I certainly wouldn't dance to them. It's for concentrating on, a movie for your ears, an adventure which will hopefully surprise you. One thing's for sure, though, I'm finished with rhythm now."

Stapleton picks out the Current 93 LP, In Menstrual Night, as a landmark in the realization of his aesthetic and I relay the poetic way that Tibet had first described it to me. "I wondered where dreams went to when they died in your heart and your soul," David had explained. "Some strange graveyard - I wanted to recreate that feeling of when you're at some party, a bit drunk, and you start to drift off to sleep. You start to remember the voices of your childhood and they mingle with the distant sounds of the party, an old nursery rhyme floats past, all part of a bizarre collage. Then the drum enters, like a dream going to feed the moon's soul." Steve smiles and goes on to explain his own take on In Menstrual Night, particularly the first half, "Sucking Up Souls".

"'Sucking Up Souls' was inspired by when I was in hospital, I had a lot of trouble with my ears, tinnitis and all kinds of problems, and I'd lie in hospital at night and listen to the sounds of the hospital, just people milling around in wards far off, the occasional sound as metal things clanked, and both David and I thought it would be a really good idea to try and recreate that sound. Just being in bed, being immobile, and just listening. I was fascinated by it, I just lay there listening for days. There is a really heavy, unique atmosphere to a hospital. I think there is a kind of warmth there - you're protected, you're safe, you're being waited on - you're being pumped full of horrible drugs as well but you can lay there and almost become a vegetable."

The almost fetishistic detail which the whole scene inspires in Stapleton makes it seem woozily appealing, until you remember that all around you people are actually dying, strapped to life support machines, in iron lungs.

"I didn't actually consider that. It just adds to the atmosphere I suppose. Nurses must see that all the time. Just imagine, though, you're lying in bed at night and you're looking up a darkened hall and there's the matron sitting there with her light and you can hear her pen scraping, you can hear creaks coming from the beds, patients turning over, beds rattling a bit, someone dropping a utensil ten wards down. The echo, the bare walls."

To experience that degree of silence requires a very regimented regime, a very controlled environment. It's a silence which reminds me of childhood, in bed early, downstairs the buzz of late night television, the distant door lock, the creak of the stairs and voices under breath. A somewhat helpless feeling, subjected to sound, a regressive fantasy.

It almost seems that Stapleton's early years of collecting, listening and making sense of sound was simply a period of training, of preparing for his inevitable retreat. "I would listen to music for at least four or five hours every day without fail, surrounded by a collection of about two thousand albums," he explains. "I was teaching myself to listen in that time. I had 20 years of searching for interesting music and now I've almost had my fill of it and I really don't feel like searching for more." 'Teaching myself to listen' is the key phrase here, one which makes a fairly explicit connection between John Cage and Nurse With Wound. Through years of listening, of opening out his ears, just like his epiphanal experience in the hospital, Steven was able to truly listen to the sounds around him. Then he could disappear to Ireland's wild barren, content to listen to the sound of his environment, to hear the melody at the heart of the universe, the harmony of the spheres. Dispatching the occasional epistle by way of reply and thanks.

"I've been doing it for 22 years now, or whatever," Stapleton reflects, "and no amount of adulation would change the music. It's never worried me. I'm really happy in my life, I've got my goats, my lovely family, I've got everything that anybody could really want and I've also got my music. I'm a happy person. I make the music that I want to hear and that nobody else is making, a music that's never really existed before."

And now I think of Steven, pacing the hills and paths of County Clare, perched with his goats in the stillness of dead night. Silent beneath a star-filled sky. Just listening.

and the NWW list which i'm currently trying to explore Lol

* Agitation Free
* Pekka Airaksinen
* Airway (Los Angeles Free Music Society)
* Albrecht D
* Alcatraz (band)
* Älgarnas Trädgård
* ALL-7-70 (Alan Sondheim)
* Alternative TV
* Alvaro Peña-Rojas (The 101ers)
* Ame Son
* Amon Düül
* Amon Düül II
* Anal Magic and Reverend Dwight Frizzel
* Anima/Anima Sound (Paul and Limpe Fuchs)
* Annexus Quam
* Aqsak Maboul
* Arbete och Fritid
* Arcane V
* Archaïa
* Archimedes Badkar
* Gilbert Artman (Urban Sax)
* Art Bears
* Art Zoyd
* Arzachel
* Robert Ashley
* Ash Ra Tempel
* Association P.C. (Pierre Courbois)
* Il Balletto di Bronzo
* Banten
* Franco Battiato
* Han Bennink
* Steve Beresford
* Jacques Berrocal
* Philippe Besombes
* Biglietto Per L'Inferno
* Birgé Gorgé Shiroc (Un Drame Musical Instantané)
* Blue Sun
* Raymond Boni
* Don Bradshaw Leather
* Brainstorm
* Brainticket
* Brast Burn
* Brave New World
* Anton Bruhin
* Brühwarm Theatre
* Franz de Byl
* Cabaret Voltaire
* John Cage
* Can
* Capsicum Red
* Captain Beefheart
* Chamberpot
* Checkpoint Charlie
* Theatre du Chene Noir
* Chillum
* Henri Chopin
* Chrome
* Cohelmec Ensemble
* Jean Cohen-Solal
* Collegium Musicum
* Roberto Colombo
* Come (later Whitehouse)
* Companyia Elèctrica Dharma
* Comus
* Cornucopia
* Crass
* Creative Rock
* Cromagnon
* David Cunningham
* Cupol (a Wire side project)
* Dadazuzu
* Wolfgang Dauner
* Debris
* Decayes
* Dedalus
* Deep Freeze Mice
* Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft
* Dharma Quintet
* Dies Irae
* Dome (Another Wire side project)
* Doo-Dooettes (Los Angeles Free Music Society)
* Philippe Doray
* Roger Doyle (Operating Theatre)
* Jean Dubuffet
* Dzyan
* Eiliff
* Emtidi
* Eroc
* Etron Fou Leloublan
* Exmagma
* Family Fodder
* Patrizio Fariselli (Area)
* Faust
* Luc Ferrari
* Fille Qui Mousse
* Floh de Cologne
* Flying Lizards
* Food Brain
* Förklädd Gud
* Walter Franco
* Free Agents (Pete Shelley)
* Friendsound
* Fred Frith
* Gash
* Ron Geesin
* Gila
* Jef Gilson
* Glaxo Babies
* Gomorrha
* Gong
* Good Missionaries (Alternative TV)
* Le Grand Magic Circus
* John Greaves and Peter Blegvad
* Fernando Grillo
* Ragnar Grippe
* Grobschnitt
* Group 1850
* Jean Guérin
* Friedrich Gulda
* Guru Guru
* Hairy Chapter
* Hampton Grease Band
* Henry Cow
* Pierre Henry
* Heratius
* Hero
* Juan Hidalgo
* Hugh Hopper
* Horde Catalytque Pour La Fin
* Horrific Child
* Ibliss
* L'Infonie
* International Harvester
* Iskra
* Island
* Martin Davorin-Jagodic
* Jan Dukes de Grey
* King Crimson
* Basil Kirchin
* Osamu Kitajima
* Kluster
* Frank Köllges
* Komintern
* Kraftwerk
* Krokidil
* Steve Lacy
* Lard Free
* Le Forte Four (Los Angeles Free Music Society)
* Lemon Kittens
* Lily (band)
* Limbus 3/Limbus 4
* Bernard Lubat
* Alvin Lucier
* Magical Power Mako
* Magma
* Colette Magny
* Mahjun
* Mahogany Brain
* Radu Malfatti and Stephan Wittwer
* Mama Dada 1919
* Michael Mantler
* Albert Marcoeur
* Mars
* Maschine NO 9
* Philippe Mate and Daniel Vallancien
* Costin Miereanu
* Min Bul
* Mnemonists (Biota)
* Modry Efekt
* Moolah
* Anthony Moore
* Mothers of Invention
* Moving Gelatine Plates
* Fritz Müller
* Thierry Müller (Ilitch)
* Musica Electronica Viva
* Music Improvisation Company
* Mythos
* Napoli Centrale
* Negativland
* Neu!
* New Phonic Art
* Nico
* Night Sun
* Nihilist Spasm Band
* Nine Days Wonder (band)
* Nosferatu
* Nu Creative Methods
* Oktober
* Yoko Ono
* Operation Rhino
* Opus Avantra
* Orchid Spangiafora
* Out of Focus
* Ovary Lodge (Keith Tippett)
* Tony Oxley
* Evan Parker and Paul Lytton
* Pataphonie
* Jean-François Pauvros and Gaby Bizien
* Pere Ubu
* Pierrot Lunaire
* Der Plan
* Plastic Ono Band
* Plastic People of the Universe
* Poison Girls
* Pôle (Philippe Besombes and Jean Louis Rizet)
* Pop Group
* Michel Portal
* Bomis Prendin
* Public Image Ltd
* Red Krayola
* Red Noise
* Reform Art Unit
* Steve Reich
* Achim Reichel
* The Residents
* Catherine Ribeiro and Alpes
* Boyd Rice (NON)
* Claudio Rocchi
* Rocky's Filj
* Ron 'Pate's Debonairs
* Dieter Roth, Gerhard Rühm, & Oswald Wiener
* Ray Russell (musician)
* Terje Rypdal
* Martin Saint Pierre
* Samla Mammas Manna
* Gunter Schickert
* Second Hand
* Secret Oyster
* Seeselberg
* Semool
* Sonny Sharrock
* Silberbart
* Siloah
* Soft Machine
* Smegma (Los Angeles Free Music Society)
* Sally Smmitt (Sally Timms/Mekons)
* Alan Sondheim
* Snatch (Judy Nylon)
* Sperm (Pekka Airaksinen)
* Sphinx Tush
* Stooges
* Karlheinz Stockhausen
* Demetrio Stratos (Area)
* Supersister
* Taj Mahal Travellers
* Tamia
* Tangerine Dream
* Ghédalia Tazartès
* Technical Space Composers Crew
* Mama Béa Tekielski
* Third Ear Band
* Thirsty Moon
* This Heat
* Jacques Thollot
* Thrice Mice
* Throbbing Gristle
* Paolo Tofani (Area)
* Tokyo Kid Brothers
* Tolerance
* Tomorrow's Gift
* Ton Steine Scherben
* TransMuseq
* Uli Trepte (Guru Guru)
* Twenty Sixty Six and Then
* Univers Zero
* Christian Vander (musician) (Magma (band))
* Velvet Underground
* Vertø
* Patrick Vian
* L. Voag (The Homosexuals)
* Michel Waisvisz
* Igor Wakhevitch
* Lawrence Weiner
* Trevor Wishart
* James White and the Contortions
* Whitehouse
* Wired
* Adolf Wölfli
* Woorden
* Robert Wyatt
* Xhol Caravan/Xhol
* Iannis Xenakis
* Ya Ho Wha 13
* La Monte Young
* Frank Zappa
* Zweistein

is that the list? Grin

statto Wrote:is that the list? Grin


julian copes krautrock top 50 is the list Yes

is this one controversial? what are your thoughts on it statto? Baffled


kris Wrote:is this one controversial? what are your thoughts on it Statto? Baffled

it's this:

Quote:Inside was the near-mythical Nurse 'list' - an A to Z of avant-whup and visionary excess, name-checking the likes of Group 1850, Brainticket, This Heat, Yoko Ono, Cromagnon, Faust, John Cage..."Categories strain, crack and sometimes break, under their burden", reads the text, "Step out of the space provided."

I thought it was a list of obscure records rather than artists, but I've never actually seen it

unless it was what you just posted Smile



i guess i've heard about a third of them Oops


kris Wrote:is this one controversial? what are your thoughts on it statto? Baffled

all the ones i've heard are worth hearing Xyxthumbs

statto Wrote:i guess i've heard about a third of them Oops

far less, but

Quote:on the original list, there was the text "these sleeve notes are dedicated to the nihilist spasm band".

saw them live, old men making a racket Falcon

littlenemo Wrote:
Quote:on the original list, there was the text "these sleeve notes are dedicated to the nihilist spasm band".

saw them live, old men making a racket Falcon


That's actually from the show I saw. "I'm a meat eater, a consumer of bloody protein" Hyper

awesome Hahaha

will check when not slaughtered (learning , Slowly)

kris Wrote:julian cope's krautrock top 50 is the list Yes


Oh jesus - not the NWW list. Burn this thread!!!

wassup? Smile

julian cope Wrote:49. walter wegmüller - tarot

(recorded december 1972 - released 1973)

walter wegmuller - text & voice. jerry berkers - bass. jurgen dollase - mellotron, organ & piano. hartmut enke - wa-guitar. manuel gottsching - wa- guitar. klaus quadro schulze - synthesizers & voice. harald grosskopf - drums. walter westrupp - acoustic guitars, mandolin, pipes, voice, etc. bernd witthüser - spoken word. rosi muller & dieter dierks - choir.

yes, i know that you have to pay an arm and a leg to get this album (but no more as it's been re-released by spalax - minus the tarot cards). yes, but once you have it you will not worry about the cost. let the music lift you. it is one on the best albums of all time, ever. however, be warned, do not step into the deep end without first immersing your whole body in the other albums. it is well worth the wait. the music you always dreamed of placed through the kaiser's cosmic courier mincer. a big fat big 11/10.

the best krautrock album in the world ever!!!

Xyxthumbs Hahaha

Lol good stuff.. going to have to give that one a few more listens..

at the moment i think i prefer the less 'proper' cosmic jokers sessions..

"Walter Wegmüller wasn't actually a musician, but rather a mystic, artist and eccentric. Some of the cream of cosmic Krautrock backed him up on his one album, Tarot, which is generally considered a masterpiece. This Swiss Gypsy was well known in the late '60s, where he hung out with Sergius Golowin and visual artist H.R. Giger, and in the early 1970s, Timothy Leary, on the run from the American authorities, hung out with them as well. At this time Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, rock journalist and head of Ohr Records, decided to start a new label, Kosmische Musik, to release more cosmic sounds, with the idea of having various visionaries on vocals, which soon lead him to Switzerland. After recording the first of these albums, Seven Up, which paired Ash Ra Tempel with Leary in autumn 1972, work began on the second and third records, by Golowin and Wegmüller. By now Kaiser had gathered a stable of musicians, which included Ash Ra Tempel and Wallenstein, to work on these various projects as the Cosmic Couriers.

As Wegmüller had been working on a set of handmade tarot cards over several years since 1968, at the suggestion of Leary he decided to do an album based on the tarot deck. The project started in Switzerland in late 1972, again with Ash Ra Tempel as backing musicians, when Wegmüller suddenly decided there should be a track for each of the 22 cards of the major arcana. Kaiser, becoming more impressed in the project, flew Wegmüller and Ash Ra Tempel to Germany, to add more musicians into the stew. The band Wallenstein and keyboardist Klaus Schulze had just finished the Golowin project, so they joined Manuel Gottsching and Hartmut Enke of Ash Ra Tempel, as well as Walter Westrupp from the duo Witthüser-Westrupp, on the Tarot lineup to create a cosmic Krautrock super-group.

The Tarot sessions were recorded in December of 1972 in Dieter Dierk's studios in Stommeln near Cologne. During one of the sessions, Gottsching, Enke, and Schulze, were waiting for the other musicians to arrive, and decided to record an album. Schulze had left Ash Ra Tempel in early 1971, after their first album, so the record, Join Inn, found that band with their original lineup, with the addition of some spoken vocals from Gottsching's girlfriend, Rosi Muller, who also provided backup vocals on Tarot."

Quote:Julian Cope:
"This huge double-LP is as all-encompassing as rock'n'roll gets, proving that Krautrock's greatest strength was its ability to consume all American and British music, assimilate it, and then regurgitate it all as though the Mothers, the Velvets, the Doors, the Stones, the Fugs, the free-rock and free-jazz of Detroit, and the experimentation of Germany could all be thrown into some Kosmiche Pot. They truly proved that it could. Beginning like the Hendrix-y side of early Funkadelic, "Der Narr" is tearing jagged old-fashioned funk like Detroit loved to make. Jurgen Dollase's piano is cocktail-mayhem -- really the Funkadelic LP is the best comparison. In contrast, "Der Magier" comes on like some Kosmiche night-rally, all screaming synths and freaky keyboards before jumping in with both feet to a one-chord driving blues that barely establishes itself before breaking down again as Walter Wegmüller makes his proclamations. But explaining the diversity of this album should not blind anyone to its obvious total cohesion, for there is a unified theme and manner of playing which pushes this music out of the reach of other rock'n'roll musicians. It is the performance -- the confidence and the sheer ability to make decisions on the spur of the moment which transcends all other scenes. On Tarot, the commitment is to the project. At no point does the ego of rock musicians become an issue, all are subordinate to the main Trip. I cannot drudge endlessly through the record with detailed descriptions. They would be boring and facile, and no way could I explain individual pieces which are intended to work as a whole. The mix of the music is so unbalanced that even and Elton John ballad would sound extreme in such surroundings. "Die Herrscherin" is pretty pretty cosmic bongo based island music, but it is followed with the New York Lou Reed riffing of "Der Herrscher", as un-Kosmiche as it gets. The strength of the Cosmic Couriers is their indivudal ability and their lack of need to impress this at all times. R-U Kaiser also shows incredible judgement for recording these magic men. Like Golowin, Walter Wegmüller grabs the attention with the same bollocks as Jim Morrison, and imparts meaning without the need to be constantly in the face of the listener. In other words, he says his bit and lets the music take you out there. On "Der Wagen/Die Gerechtigkeit", we could be in the middle of an Ash Ra Tempel blitz. I would guess that we are really, there's just more people to contribute to it and they all reveal the same high level of Unification Of Intuition. The ritual and performance is awesome, the sounds bizarre, threatening, comforting, inspiring and often excruciating all at the same time.

So wide are the parameters of Tarot that Klaus Schultze even narrates "Der Weise" in a delicate boy's tone which is extremely touching, especially at the end when Klaus, his text all finished, apparently unconsciously begins to hum along with the track. Man, I'm listening to the album as I write this and I have to tell you Tarot is the whole of rock'n'roll in one double-LP. Now "Die Kraft" sounds a bit like Funkadelic again, wild solo guitars over tribal drumming and bizarre deep spoken words. Later on, they'll launch into a There's a Riot Goin' On-period Sly drum-machine piece that still sound so uplifting -- I have to admire the sheer Poetic Greed of the Cosmic Couriers. They wanted to do it all, and they fucking achieved!! There's no point in carrying on this ridiculous attempt. BUY THE ALBUM: IT'S THE SOUND OF THE COSMOS. By Side 4 (CD2), they're given up on the structure and gone for an early Afterburn. But that's cool as well, because it's the greatest craze-out of all. I'll leave now, I'm gibbering."

Nico, love her voice. Icon_yippee

searching for Manuel Göttsching brought up this thread


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