The Musty Odour of Pierced Rectums
2003 May CD-R US Beta-lactam Ring Records MT056
300 In card sleeve
Track Listing
  1. Untitled (1:38)
  2. Untitled (9:17)
  3. Untitled (0:22)
  4. Untitled (3:50)
  5. Untitled (6:06)
  6. Untitled (0:15)
  7. Untitled (0:15)
  8. Untitled (6:26)
  9. Untitled (1:20)
  10. Untitled (0:08)
  11. Untitled (0:27)
  12. Untitled (1:07)
  13. Untitled (0:31)
Sleeve Notes
(A collection of Obsolete Primitive Variations)
Originally given away at the record release party for She and Me Fall Together in Free Death, an event in Portland, Oregon on the 24 May 2003 featuring an appearance by Steven Stapleton
This special little nugget is a limited CD-R of rare archival material that was available at Steven Stapleton's recent appearance in Portland, Oregon to celebrate the release of his Beta-Lactam Ring LP. It's also available for a limited time from Beta-Lactam's website. The Musty Odor of Pierced Rectums contains thirteen tracks of never-before-released Nurse With Wound pieces, similar to 1989's odds-and-sods compilation A Sucked Orange. This release, although not unified by a single concept or containing a coherent flow between tracks, once again proves that Steven Stapleton's garbage is way better than 99% of the crap released by modern experimental musicians. There's a lot of different kinds of music here, most of it in the darker, more esoteric vein. Comparisons could be made to Nurse classics such as Large Ladies With Cake in the Oven and the harsher, more industrial noisescapes on early NWW records. Most of the tracks are typically absurd mixes of mutated sounds, bizarre samples, and dislocated audio dementia. Track two reminds me of Pink Floyd's "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in A Cave and Grooving With a Pict." Stapleton seems to be experimenting with the "glitch" a little more these days. At random points, the sounds will unexpectedly stutter and drop out, leaving gaping holes or "wounds" in the composition. These thirteen untitled tracks make for a very engaging listen. Nobody is going to declare this to be Stapleton's masterpiece, but for Nurse completists, this CD-R is essential. And for the rest of those who are not obsessive Nurse With Wound collectors, what the hell is wrong with you people?

Jonathan Dean
The Musty Odour of Pierced Rectums
2008 May 12" US Beta-lactam Ring Records MT056LP
brown marble vinyl in heavy card sleeve
2008 May 12" US Beta-lactam Ring Records MT056LP
small number on light brown marble in heavy card sleeve
Track Listing
Side A
  1. Untitled
Side B
  1. Untitled
Originally put out as a limited CD-R upon Steven Stapleton's appearance in Portland, Oregon, in celebration of the release of She and Me Fall Together in Free Death back in 2003, this recording now appears on vinyl for the first time. With muffled voices and strange drops in audio that at first don't seem intentional, this is an odd album in a discography that practically defines the term.

All 13 tracks are untitled, and sometimes it is hard to tell where one ends and the next begins, a distinction made even more difficult on vinyl. Voices play a big role on this album, often muted or wildly echoing often at the expense of intelligibility, almost as if they were announcements in a foreign country in which the traveler doesn't know the language. When they are clear, they're saying ordinary things like, "Right, yeah, check, we're all ready/We're all ready/Right, here we go," but they are more often at the edge of comprehension, like something uttered in a dream but forgotten upon waking. Feedback frequently erupts yet quickly fades, with mechanical objects frequently cycling from ear to ear to keep the listener from gaining any solid ground. Whimsical textures like silly laughter or the repeated clearing of a throat keeps things playful without sacrificing the menace generated by the other elements. The first side ends with loops and an increasingly loud drone that threatens to grow unbearable before it becomes fuzzy low-end oscillations.

The second side starts with sliding metallic echoes and a damp alarm that swells in volume over time before a quieter bass tone grows in its place. Clanging metal dominates from there, joined by rattling jars, chains dragged over pots for strange harmonic effect, more scraping metal, and even some brief liquid splashes. Even though many of these textures appear seemingly at random, in the background is a deep bass presence that returns intermittently to suggest some sort of meaning even if it doesn't point to anything specific. Added to this is the non sequitur of someone of chewing an apple, which again lightens the tone. The album ends with a heavily processed voice that never manages to communicate its message despite whatever importance it may serve.

While mutated voices and metallic sounds have showed up on previous Nurse albums, they have never sounded quite like this before. Always amusing even as it confounds, Pierced Rectums has a distinct vibe all its own.

Matthew Amundsen

27 April 2008