Nurse With Wound, "Automating Volume 1"
20 years ago these songs began to surface on various compilation recordings. By the end of the 1980s, Senior Stapleton began collecting tracks together on 'Automating' collections volume one and two. Finally, the first volume is available on CD for the first time. The tracks here span the years from 1981 through 1984, a pivotal phase in the the NWW timeline as the music became less improvisational noise-based and more compositional in nature. All of the original tracks are here from the LP release plus one bonus, "Automating (Again)" from the 1984 French compilation 'Born Out of Dreams', which has never appeared on a NWW release. Listening with the LP and CD back to back, the differences are few but prominent: there's nearly one minute missing (a squealing intro) from the first track, "Duelling Banjos", plus the end of "I Was No Longer His Dominant" has a repeated loop of the last spoken phrase cross-fading into "Ciconia." One thing I can't decide on is whether all the sounds have actually been enhanced or if my vinyl version of this is just old with the grooves worn thin! That aside, the sound quality and mastering job are very pleasing to the ears. It also helps that are also some of my favorite NWW songs, with the downright silliness of "Duelling Banjos" (a different version than on 'The Ladies Home Tickler') through the spacious atmospheric "Fashioned to a Device Behind a Tree" and the severe annoyance of the looped girl singing "Na Na Na Na, Kiss Him Goodbye" in "Nana or a Thing of Uncommon Nonsense." Couple things to note: consult the website for a tracklisting as it's unlisted and excuse the catalogue number (as it shares the same number with Santoor Lena Bicycle!)