Afraid / Geometric Horsehair Cavalcade
2005 CD CA Durtro Jnana DURTRO JNANA 1982
In slimline jewel case
Track Listing
  1. Afraid - John Contreras / Rose McDowall (3:22)
  2. Geometric Horsehair Cavalcade - John Contreras / Nurse With Wound (6:39)
  3. Afraid 2 - John Contreras / Rose McDowall (3:23)
Sleeve Notes
Tracks 1 & 3 written by Nico
Track 2 written by Stapleton /Contreras
Engineered by Petr Vastl

Rose McDowall : voice
Steven Stapleton : prepared piano and trashcan lid
John Contreras : cello and gong

Thanks to Mark Logan, Simon Norris , Steven Thrower, David Late Tibet , Andria Degens, Scott Purdy, The Johnny Girl, Dean Contreras, Miriam and Peter Farrell
This CDEP contains three tracks, all featuring the skillful playing of John Contreras, the handsome young cellist and recent Current 93 and Cyclobe collaborator. The first and third tracks on the disc are adaptations of Nico's beautiful song "Afraid" (from her classic 1970 album Desertshore, one of several collaborations with John Cale), with the singular Rose McDowall lending her sweet, lilting vocals to the song. Durtro Jnana We haven't heard from Rose McDowall in quite a while, that inimitable chanteuse from Strawberry Switchblade, Sorrow and countless collaborations with Current 93, Death in June, Coil and Michael Cashmore, so it was very nice indeed to hear her lovely vocals again. Even though both versions of "Afraid" are brief, insubstantial and slight, they are still very pretty, and a good showcase for McDowall's voice and Contreras' elegiac, vibratory swells of cello. Sandwiched unceremoniously between these two tracks is an unexpected collaboration between Nurse With Wound and John Contreras, surreally entitled "Geometric Horsehair Cavalcade." The horsehair refers perhaps to the rosined fibers of Contreras' bow, and the geometry perhaps to the angularly edited, resculptured strings of Contreras' cello and Steven Stapleton's prepared piano. There's no telling where the cavalcade comes in. The track, not surprisingly, bears a passing resemblance to Stapleton's collaborations with another master of the stringed instrument on Acts of Senseless Beauty and Santoor Lena Bicycle. In fact, Aranos AKA Petr Vastl is listed as the engineer for all three of these tracks, so there's your connection. On the whole, this CDEP is rather disposable, but it's still a very nice little souvenir, and I do hope that these four collaborate on more material in the future, as a full-length might be very nice indeed.

Jonathan Dean