“June 22,” the first of the two half hour tracks, begins with the by-now familiar greeting of Utvaer’s most beloved Deadhead, echoed by his perky sidekick. As they vanish, something sinister appears in their place. The image most prominent in my mind is of a furnace possessed by spirits best left unidentified, swelling into aggressive bursts of volume in increasing lengths as the track progresses, with a particularly bone-rattling eruption occurring just after the twenty minute mark. Frequently the sound hovers like thick, humid air, as if waiting for an unnamed menace to slither forth from the darkness. A subdued alarm bell appears out of the fog from time to time, commingling with faint metallic overtones on the fringe of perception while revenant gasps hiss in the mist. Even listening to the this track in the daylight, I have to say that I found it to be one of the more viscerally thrilling and frightening Nurse With Wound experiences I’ve had in a while, much like the gut feeling I used to get just before the initial drop on a roller coaster. As the last track in the Shipwreck series, “July 13” is quite the headcleaner. After the initial greetings, loops of the phrase “Welcome to Shipwreck Radio” are subjected to repeated unsettling voice manipulations that become a rippling landscape of their own, stretching syllables into unnatural technological groans. Each time the phrase returns, it is slower and contains more glitch material, eventually obfuscating the source completely. As the length of the recurring phrase increases, so too does the silence between the repetitions. The slower the voice gets, the more it sounds like broken zeros and ones, high-pitched tones with little musical value. Because of this, the track feels more like an algorithmic exercise than a creative one. I can’t imagine what was going through the minds of the Norwegians tuning in to this particular broadcast, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they smacked their radios a few times thinking something was broken. In some ways, the predictable pattern of “July 13” is the antithesis of the previous track’s ability to surprise, and it’s one I probably won’t return to frequently. Even so, the force of “June 22” alone is enough to make this release an invigorating addition to the group’s catalog. From Brainwashed.
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