Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sunn O))) and Nurse With Wound

ØØ VOID is Sunn O)))'s second album, or their first "all in" album (the first recordings they did up to their standards, which in this case, is a 24 track studio recording to 2" tape).  It's pretty much exactly what you think of when you think of Sunn O))), a band birthed from the second Earth album: big doomy guitar drones, and very little else.  If you've paid attention to any of their later releases, especially Monoliths & Dimensions, then here are the basics.  As every brain dead rocker everywhere says, TURN IT ALL THE WAY UP!

It's back in rotation primarily due to a vinyl reissue on Stephen O'Malley's Ideologic Organ label.  It's a good one to have on vinyl, since the whole point of droning (besides the hypnotic effect) is the nuance and play of textures, including overtones and undertones, which are best realized with analog playback.  The 2 x LP gives a full side to each of the four compositions (playback at 45 rpm for even better depth and fidelity), and the package consists of VERY HEAVY cardboard with beautiful artwork.  The only bitch I have is that the heavy cardboard sleeves almost require lubrication to slide in and out, and when you pull the platter out of its sleeve, you need to grasp the edge with your thumb and index finger and really tug, which means you are marking up the edge of the platter.  Oh well, such is the nature of sacrifice for aesthetics.

The real gem here is The Iron Soul of Nothing, a collaboration between Sunn O))) and 80's industrial/noise/avant legends Nurse With Wound, in which NWW's Steven Stapleton remixes ØØ VOID.  Stapleton gets to the core of the album, picking up various elements of the drone and recutting them for his own version of the same idea.  The result sounds more electro and less doom metal, and more dynamic, as Stapleton is as aggressive in his collaging as possible while still remaining true to the drone.

And, as an added bonus, the packaging is much less annoying here than on the Sunn O))) reissue.

With Sunn O))), you know what you are getting, and ØØ VOID is the base level of what you get.  The Iron Soul of Nothing is Nurse With Wound's revelatory re-imagining of Sunn O)))'s core project.  If either one of these things sounds good to you, you will not be disappointed.

No comments: