Boomkat Product Review:
Classic NWW concrète collage japes from 1985 resurface in a reissue of its expanded 2015 edition, notoriously featuring an apocryphal who’s who of post-industrial music in The Murray Fontana Orchestra
‘The Sylvie And Babs Hi-Fi Companion’ is a skewiff lurch into the dafter side of Steven Stapleton and co’s tastes, once described by the ‘England’s Hidden Reverse’ author, David Keenan, as “some light relief in the early Nurse catalogue.” The cut-up spirits of Burroughs oversee NWW at their more ludicrous, slicing up novelty records, big band jazz, TV themes, ballroom and rock ’n roll records in a more playful example of their sinister whimsy at work. It’s Stapleton at the tiller/razor, but the album notoriously features a 40+ who’s who roll-call of the ‘80s post-industrial scene including the likes of John Balance (credited as Geff Rushton), who received a credit despite doing fuck all, just like the rest of them. You’re in NWW country now, baby.
The original LP’s pair of 20 minute+ tapestries unfurl the honking madness across ‘You Walrus Hurt the One I Love’, and a spangled rock ’n roll abstraction ‘Great Balls of Fur’ on the first disc, before they rack up assorted cutting room oddities and reworks on the 2nd disc that came with its (this) expanded 2015 reissue. Sometime NWW conscript Matthew Waldron (irr. app. (ext.)) supplies a crazed ‘Entrée; Cream of Nowhere Remix’, and Andrew Liles’ hacks up hard rock in ‘Dessert; Irregular Around the Margins remix’, while Stapleton cuts loose between bits that sound like Kid Koala chopping The Caretaker, with notable chunks in the eerie, wooden-legged ‘Elderly Man River’, daft spins on the Dragnet theme on ‘Chicken in Drag’, the batshit of ‘Poo Poo Song’, and nuff swanee whistles in ‘Excerpt from Pricksongs’.