ARTIST: IN THE NURSERY
CATALOGUE#: SPR 041
FORMAT: CD, jewel case + carton overcase
RELEASE DATE: 04.2007
OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.inthenursery.com
For sales in the territory of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine & Baltic States only
03. Material & Form
04. Silent in Time
05. Tempered Wings
08. Imperfect Design
For the next nights it’s Shadowplay reviews, the third of the great labels as far as I’m concerned (alongside Projekt and Strobelight), with an ever-expanding brief, including licensing. I won’t be reviewing the Golden Apes album they’re handling as I have already reviewed that but they have spectacular releases from Necro Stellar, Ataraxia and Lacklustre Mirror, so make sure you check in each day.
This band is a mystery to me, it must be said, as I have never really paid them any attention due to their early imagery which was laughable, but the ‘Cause + Effect’ tribute-like compilation was interesting and now here they are with a new album. It’s all down to Messrs Klive and Nigel Humberstone, with occasional vocals from Sarah Jay Hawley and Dolores Marguerite C (a name ending in an initial?!!), along with additional flute, drums and cello. Organic!
‘Blueprint’ is quite exciting with its simple dramatics of strings and drums, acutely breathy female vocals and stirring neo-classical activity, subtly nuanced to remain directly interesting instead of moody. The floatier ‘Futurebuild’ is how an ethereal Kate Bush might operate, dry and strolling. ‘Material & Form’ switches to ambient cinematic drowsiness and maintains the beautiful feel, while the fluid, restless ‘Silent In Time’ spins in grand torment, climactic drums and twirling flute working unusually well together underpinned by chilly keyboards and bass espionage.
‘Tempered Wings’ moves back into demure, Heavenly Voices territory; sighing singing and strings waltzing dead slow, and these are truly captivating vocals. Brighter and lighter, with some added bounce, ‘Vantage’ is almost soft, mature pop with a fidgety string and rhythm thrombosis, as though Vanessa Paradis just became interesting. They also end it just in time as it was getting a trifle samey through being close to conventional. ‘Kryptka’ is somehow airier but more dramatically stylish than the other tracks having both the formal elegance, and twitching life through which masked vocals advance slyly. ‘Imperfect Design’ is weird, close to Native American or Aboriginal dream fare but with minimalist piano and woozy singing creating a soft tension, and it’s a sign of the quality of this record that even though it this track doesn’t sustain its drama it’s still a sparkling success. ‘Dogfight’ has its sombre side and a seriously seared demeanour alongside death-rattle jauntiness and ‘Landlost’ then spins this out in a sunnier way, a storm held at bay by sweetly mouldering synth.
A fine album, then, and a testament to their compositional ability and character because there’s a wide variety of action, with very little embellishment, yet it sounds consistently the work of a band. A darkly pleasing discovery for anybody.
Prolific creators of sensuous soundscapes, IN THE NURSERY have returned with 'Era', an album exploring the themes of architecture, urban decay, and regeneration. But such is twins Klive and Nigel Humberstone's emphatic feel for their subject matter, this seems like it is less about buildings than something more vital. A picture of the city as a living organism - growing, dying, being reborn. The story of civilisation. A full, almost bombastic, sound driven by trademark militaristic drumming and strings pull against gothically spectral vocals to serve as a vision of strength beset by war, weakness and fate. With Massive Attack's Sarah Jay Hawley singing on three tracks, including the pathos-dripping 'Tempered Wings', 'Era' is fragile yet beautiful and strong yet sweet.
From the press release - "This new eagerly anticipated studio album.Rather than mark their 25 year career with a celebratory compilation, ItN have done what they do best and produced another unique album of breathtaking power and beauty.
Along with long term associate Dolores Marguerite C, Era features collabarations with guest vocalist Sarah Jay Hawley, best known for her work with Massive Attack."
Release date - 15th January 2007
'BluePrint sets the stall out, the bombastic and military drums combining with the string instruments, percussion and a hint of piano with it all held together by Dolores' vocals to great effect. Futurebuild features Sarahs mesmerising vocals for the first time, a slower track with flutes, cellos and percussion forming the main track. Next up is Material and Form, this one's entirely instrumental and is certainly a wonderful, enchanting song, that lets the listener mind drift to happy and peaceful times. Silent in Time with Klive's vocals, is a little more militaristic, the drums driving the track, along with the other instuments present, mixing in with remarkable clarity. 'Tempered Wings' again features Sarahs' vocals, a slow relaxing dream of a song, which leads onto 'Vantage' which after a deceptive start really propels forward to something of quite outstanding beauty. Dolores provides the vocals in French on this one, the pace never too fast, never too slow, but always drawing the listener in, with the flutes and mourneful cello, really forming an integral part of the song, my favourite song on the album! 'Kryptka' follows, chimes mix in with the music, to drive the song on. 'Imperfect Design', the 3rd song to feature Sarahs' vocals, has piano, string and wind instuments forming the backbone before the bombastic drums pick up the tempo, and their urgency pulls the song with it but still leaves you with a slow, respectful conclusion. Track 9 is 'Dogfight', again an instrumental track, the stuff of film scores, the bombastic drums combined with the miltary drum, percussion, cello meaning giving the impression of a chase sequence at times, the urgency building up and subsiding in light of pursuers and the pursued. Finally we end with 'Landlost', another all instrumental track, putting you in mind of something we had, now lost, the combination of instuments melding together to form such a powerful sound.
Discounting the Mitchell and Kenyon sountrack, this first studio album since Praxis in 2003, has been well worth the wait. The addition of a guest vocalist, enriches an already full soundscape. Having missed their show at last year's WGT, I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for the live dates they're sure to announce in support of this release. A real treat for ItN fan's worldwide.
As Klive and Nigel Humberstone's remarkable musical partnership reaches its twenty-fifth year, the minds behind In the Nursery celebrate with another striking album, Era. Though the title is suggestive of a compilation or overview, the brothers instead create another collection of new songs, based around themes of architecture and urban design, easily including some of their most dramatic work yet in the process. The sweeping, electronic/orchestral romanticism that has defined most of their albums remains intact but there is a new fluidity that's quite compelling. The opening "Blueprint" demonstrates this brilliantly, familiar elements such as Dolores Marguerite C.'s voice and strong drumming (provided in part by David Elektrik), not to mention storming, swooping strings, shot through with low textured murmurs and an almost disorienting mix. The suggestion is of monumentalism given a dreamlike quality, an appropriate start for the album. The other featured vocalist is Sarah Jay Hawley, whose cool, soulful delivery on three songs adds yet another twist to the established ITN atmosphere, further emphasizing tensions between structure and organic unfolding. Klive Humberstone returns to singing more than he has in some time, with occasional backing parts matched by a full lead performance on "Silent in Time," perhaps fittingly one of the album's high points thanks to its rolling, eve-of-battle arrangement. Other featured performers including returning veteran Henrik Linnemann on flute and Liz Hanks on cello, whose work on songs like "Material and Form" adds even more haunting, elegant depth. Quite why the Humberstones have still never been commissioned for a full new film soundtrack remains a mystery to this day, but between recent silent film work and this new effort, In the Nursery remains a defiantly strong and ever more unique band.
In The Nursery around the brothers Humberstone exists already for over 25 years! In The Nursery is known for the groundbreaking percussive neoclassical albums and soundtrack for movies such as The Aviator, Interview with the Vampire and The Rainmaker. Highlights from their musical career that i still play very often are the albums 'Sense', 'Duality' and 'Anatomy of a Poet'. It just doesnt get any better than this, regarding bombastic neoclassical percussion.
ERA is in a certain way yet another highlight, but it doesn't impress as much as the earlier mentioned recordings did in those days. This is partly due to the impression i got that ERA is less convincing as it is and partly because since the times i first listened to Sense i have discovered much more music.
ERA is somewhat more tranquil than before, with more emphasis on the vocals in the compositions next to the further instrumentation and the typical ITN percussion. This time however there is not only a vocal contribution from the regular associate Dolores Marguerite C. but also from Sarah Jay Hawley, knwon from her work with Massive Attack. 'Blueprint' directly brings associations with the Sense record and songs such as 'A Rebours' and 'Blue Religion'. 'Silent in Time' is a great track sung by Klive Humberstone and he sounds like Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance here. This could have been a trap but it is done very good. The flutes of Henriuk Linneman do the job well in the track 'Vantage' and the violin play in 'Kryptka' is as good as ever. 'Dogfight' is a darker track that has more venom in sound and a subtle tension. 'Imperfect Design' again has Sarah Jay Hawley as vocalist, but the bass sound in this track reminds very much of 'Inertia Creeps' by Massive Attack. The climax of vocals and percussion at the end saves the track though. 'Tempered Wings' has triphop feel, which sounds pleasurable in combination with the beautiful vocals of Sarah Jay Hawley, but it also misses a bit of tension because of that.
This is a feeling that characterizes the album as a whole. Everything seems allright and the compositions are beautiful yet there is something missing. Let's hope it is not inspiration that is drying up, since that would not be so strange as it is a real challenge to keep re-inventing yourself even after 25 years. ERA is too good to state this yet though but it does make curious to the future of In The Nursery. For how long will they stay as good as they are? ERA is not a topalbum such as Sense, but it is still really recommended for those that would like to see breathtaking beauty, power and passion expressed in music.
Sheffield based - besides contributions from vocalist Dolores Marguerite C. and drummer David Elektrik, the album features a number of collaborations with guest vocalist Sarah Jay Hawley - great addition of vocals - romantic - bombastic - classical - emotional soundscapes - can easily be filed as film music - renewing recommended tracks : Blueprint, Silent In Time, Landlost
Darker Than The Bat
"Era" ITN Corporation, 2007
"Electric Edwardians" ITN Corporation 2005 (soundtrack album)
"A Page of Madness" ITN Corporation 2004 (soundtrack album)
"Praxis" ITN Corporation 2003
"An Ambush of Ghosts" ITN Corporation re-issue 2003(soundtrack album)
"Cause + Effect" ITN Corporation 2002 (remix album)
"Engel" ITN Corporation 2001
"Hindle Wakes" ITN Corporation 2001 (soundtrack album)
"Exhibit" ITN Corporation 2000 (compilation album)
"Groundloop" ITN Corporation 2000
"Man With A Movie Camera" ITN Corporation 1999 (soundtrack album)
"Lingua" ITN Corporation 1998
"Asphalt" ITN Corporation 1997 (soundtrack album)
"Cobalt" (as Les Jumeaux) ITN Corporation 1997
"Composite" ITN Corporation 1997 (compilation album)
"The Cabinet of Dr Caligari" ITN Corporation 1996 (soundtrack album)
"Deco" ITN Corporation 1996
"Feathercut" (as Les Jumeaux) ITN Corporation 1996
"Praha 1" (live) Cats Heaven 1996
"Scatter" ITN Corporation 1996
"Anatomy of a Poet" Third Mind Records 1994
"Hallucinations?" Third Mind Records 1994 (CD single & 12")
"An Ambush Of Ghosts" Third Mind Records 1993 (soundtrack album)
"Duality" Third Mind Records 1991
"Sense" Third Mind Records 1991
"Sesudient" Third Mind Records 1990 (12" EP)
"L'Esprit" Third Mind Records 1990
"Prelude" Normal Records 1989 (compilation album)
"Counterpoint" Sweatbox Records 1989 (compilation album)
"Koda" Sweatbox Records 1988
"Compulsion" 12" Sweatbox Records 1988
"Stormhorse" Sweatbox Records 1987
"Trinity" Sweatbox Records 1987 (12" EP)
"Twins" Sweatbox Records 1986
"When Cherished Dreams Come True" (ltd. edition re-issue) 1986
"Temper" Sweatbox Records 1985 (12" EP)
"Sonority" New European Recordings 1985 (12' EP)
"Witness (to a scream)" Paragon Records 1984 (7" single)
"When Cherished Dreams Come True" Paragon Records 1983
Films, Videos & Trailers
"The Manchurian Candidate"
"Along Came a Spider"
"Marmor Stein and Eisen (Love Never Fails)"
"The Sweet Hereafter"
"Interview with the Vampire"
"Streetfighter 2, The Animated Movie"
"La Femme Nikita" Season 1, Season 2
"A Woman Undone"
Claudia Schiffer Perfectly Fit
F1 Grand Prix Review Sense
US Women Challenge/Heineken
VOX TV, German Cable TV (Commission for sound design and promotional music)