Among the old gods of industrial music, Nurse With Wound reign over the dreamworld. While Throbbing Gristle and Whitehouse often bludgeoned listeners with lyrics that captured real-life horrors, Steve Stapleton’s haunted tape-loop collages infect the subconscious before dissolving like nightmares. A painter first, Stapleton’s greatest inspirations are Dada and surrealism. Like Dalí, he draws directly from dreams, and his ability to sublimate an everyday object into a new form is reminiscent of Magritte’s hypnotically impossible images and Duchamp’s absurd readymade sculptures. In England’s Hidden Reverse, David Keenan’s essential profile of the UK avant-garde, Stapleton makes the connection explicit: “Nurse music is surrealist music.”Miles Bowe, Pitchfork, July 19, 2018
Nurse With Wound is a London, UK based music band, formed in 1978 by Steven Stapleton, John Fothergill and Heeman Pathak. Their early recordings, all made quickly, were heavily influenced by free jazz and krautrock and were generally considered industrial music, despite the objections of the group.
By 1981, only Stapleton was left from the original trio and he now regards 1982’s “Homotopy To Marie”, as being the first proper Nurse With Wound release. There are now over 30 full length NWW titles.
Stapleton’s fondness for dada, surrealism and absurdist humor are demonstrated in much of NWW’s output, which, though it draws directly on nearly every musical genre imaginable (from cabaret music to nursery rhymes to John Cage to The Beach Boys to krautrock to pop music to ambient music and Captain Beefheart) retains a distinctive and recognizable aura.
Musique concrete may be the most prominent touchstone, due to Stapleton’s frequent – and often humorous – use of creative tape loops and editing. Athough NWW has a long and illustrious list of collaborators (most notably David Tibet of Current 93), at time of writing, NWW is effectively a duo of Stapleton and Colin Potter, the latter having first worked with NWW on 1992’s “Thunder Perfect Mind” when it was recorded at Potter’s ICR studio.