Nurse With Wound - Salt Marie Celeste
United Jnana’s Nurse With Wound reissue series continues with Salt Marie Celeste, perhaps the most radical album in the band’s catalog.
Similar in spirit to Gavin Bryars’s “The Sinking of the Titanic,” the album’s sixty-plus-minute title track delves deep into the themes of unknown darkness and ultimate demise.
Recorded in 2002 by Steven Stapleton and electronic studio wizard Colin Potter, this is a landmark recording in the field of contemporary electronic music. Best known for founding the legendary UK cassette only label, ICR, Potter has also recorded with Current 93, Organum, Jonathan Coleclough, and Ora.
The piece was originally intended to provide aural ambience to an exhibit at London’s Horse Hospital gallery, and a truncated version appeared on the Music for the Horse Hospital CD compilation.
Restored here to its hour-plus running time, the music becomes much more of a foreground-listening experience. Orchestral-like chords flutter back and forth like ships lost at sea while the sounds of passing cars, boat horns, and creaking doors slowly gather momentum in the background.
At around the fifty-minute mark all the extraneous sounds are cut short, leaving only the droning chords and the sound of water. It’s a stunning effect and quite different than the dense maximalism of earlier albums. The reissue is packaged in a lavish new digipak featuring the artwork of Ruby Wallis and Babs Santini.
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