SunnO))) Meets Nurse With Wound: The Iron Soul Of Nothing (Ideologic Organ)
Steven Stapleton, the prolific and complex mind behind long-running UK experimental project Nurse With Wound, took his hand, along with NWW partner Colin Potter, to remixing SunnO)))’s debut album ØØ Void as part of a deluxe reissue. Bear in mind that I’ve merely purchased the NWW remixes without hearing the original release, as they are available digitally on their own, and so I’m coming at this from a slightly different perspective. I’ve been a NWW fan since the early 90s, and I’ve since learned that Stapleton’s discography is so diverse and vast as to be almost unapproachable. So despite be best attempts to penetrate his repertoire and be more circumspect in regards to his output, I’ve had to be somewhat selective in what I’ve digested with any degree of thoughtfulness in the last several years. As for SunnO))), sadly I think I enjoy Stephen O’Malley’s project more in theory than in practice. That said, I’ve only really explored a limited amount of material from the project. I think this merging of minds is probably therefore a great way to enjoy them both. SunnO)))’s dirge-metal drones are distilled here into haunting atmospheres, like the latent remains of a severe storm. “Dysnystaxis” sounds like the ghost of Ligeti’s “Lux Aeterna” as filtered through shoegaze guitar effects, 19 minutes of bending overtones and harmonics. The oddest of the bunch is “Ash On The Trees,” which has a vocal that’s startlingly clear, given SunnO)))’s tendency to obscure everything in a wall of noise. It’s the most menacing of the lot, with the vocal having a real sneer about it that’s inescapable. But I think what’s most compelling about these abstractions, what I identify with the most, is that Stapleton and Potter have been able to really distill the darkness in SunnO)))’s music without all the noise and smoke — instead these pieces are chilly and haunting, an end result that I think is much more effective. It’s not so far off from my own personal listening journey, having shelved a lot of the harsher industrial sounds of yore and opting for cooler, quieter, more intense and intimate sounds.