Strain, Crack & Break - Music From the NWW List Volume One (France) 2LP


Strain, Crack & Break - Music From the NWW List Volume One (France) 2LP


Track listing;

1. Jacques Thollot - Cécile

2. Philippe Besombes - La Plage

3. Igor Wakhévitch - Materia-Prima

4. Mahjun - Les Enfants Sauvages

5. Lard Free - Warinobaril

6. Etron Fou Leloublan - Le Désastreux Voyage Du Piteux Python

7. Jean Cohen-Solal - Captain Tarthopom

8. Z. N. R. - Solo Un Dia

9. Red Noise - Sarcelles C'est L'avenir

10. Pierre Henry - Générique (Thème De Myriam)

11. Horrific Child - Freyeur

12. Dashiell Hedayat - Fille De L'Ombre

13. Jean Guérin - Triptik 2

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 Strain, Crack, Break; A Little History.

Back in 1971 as a 14 year old schoolboy, on a trip to London’s hip epicentre Carnaby Street, I came across a record that would change the course of my life.  The record was ‘Psychedelic Underground’ by the tribal hippy commune Amon Düül.  It was the first long player I ever bought and the reason was the amazing tripped out cover art, unlike anything I had ever seen and then I heard the music it contained and it as they say, ‘blew my mind’.


This started me on a journey of investigation and discovery.  During these years in the seventies there was no source of information one could reference for obscure or experimental music, forget the press or radio, although John Peel would occasionally play some ambitious things but it generally seemed nobody was interested


I started visiting as many second hand record stores and buying anything that looked weird and wonderful, soon I began to amass a huge collection, always filtering out the less interesting stuff.


Then I met John Fothergil, co author of the N.W.W list.  A fellow as obsessed as I and between us we continued to collect and discover, with burning intensity, hundreds of amazing obscure recordings, visiting cities all over Europe and the U.K for the second hand record stores and meeting many bands and musicians on the way.


In 1978 we had the idea to form a band along with a friend Heman Pathak, although none of us could play an instrument, that didn’t deter us.  We called it Nurse With Wound and promptly recorded an album, deciding to include a list of our influences and artists who we thought had achieved something remarkable and sonically astounding as to inspire us to get something together. 


The format of our list was based on the cover of Wolfgang Dauner’s  "Für" album sleeve.  A continuous text of musicians and artists important in the European jazz scene, this became the blue print for our own directory.


The criteria for inclusion was determined by originality and experimentation, music that was wild and uneasy, unhindered by convention, delirious and irrational but also alluring and free.  Some artists are included for entire albums, others for just one outstanding track.  Some have long careers and are there because of occasional brilliance, for instance Kraftwerk are included for their amazing debut album (still officially unreleased) and not for their electropop later recordings.


When our album “Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and Umbrella’ was released in 1979 the list was met with total apathy, a valueless and worthless waste of space. ‘What the fuck is this’ was the general reaction but very slowly it has grown into a bit of a Frankenstein and become a world wide phenomenon, a revered bible for the adventurous listener and obsessed collector alike.


It was a complete joy to compile this first volume.  France has a wonderful history of radical and anti-establishment musical voices and this is just the tip!


 Steve Stapleton, Cooloorta May 1st 2019