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Musical Pumpkin Cottage

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
Like their first album under their own names, Sadness of Things, this sophomore release by Nurse With Wound's Steve Stapleton and Current 93's David Tibet consists of just two sidelong tracks. Otherwise it's completely different from the earlier work, trading in the cosmic minimal ambience of that release for a strange psychedelic Krautrock maximalism that might invite comparisons with Faust. Like the earlier disc, it cleaves closer to the surreal experimentalism of Nurse With Wound than the avant folk of Current 93. The first track, "The Dead Side of the Moon," begins with a music box plinking away before the song slowly builds from a clunky but weird rhythm that nestles into a pulsing groove while strange noises clatter in the background, somewhat similar to that long track on Crumb Duck, the Nurse With Wound collaboration with Stereolab. Tibet adds his typically dark and surreal vocals in a partly sung and partly spoken method, while an alto saxophone adds a jazzy element. At times the rhythm intensifies to a dancefloor funk groove and a tweaked-out guitar howls out of the murk; at others it slows down with Tibet whispering with the instruments in the background, like an acid hallucination ready to erupt again. "Bubblehead" is quite similar though slightly less energetic, with clatter rhythm augmented by breath sounds, and a soprano sax. Tibet doesn't deliver any vocals until about 12 minutes into it, and then towards the end his vocals get broken up in the choppy electronics as the piece devolves into more ambient surrealism. Finally, it's just his voice, no longer processed, with minimal sound effects in the background. Musical Pumpkin Cottage is an accomplished effort that stays strong throughout and captures a different side of Tibet and Stapleton's oeuvre, but remaining as unclassifiable as ever. ~ Rolf Semprebon, Rovi