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  • In The Nursery An Ambush of Ghosts
    Saturday, July 19, 2008

    In college, I lived on the ninth floor of a high-rise complex. It was small and it was cramped and I loved it. My room overlooked the patio below and the security lights sat underneath my window. I had Venetian blinds, and, at night, the lights outside would illuminate these blinds in a rather ominous way. It didn't bother me, but some who occasionally stayed found it to be a little creepy. I liked the ambience created by the dark glow, because the light cutting through the dark. If it rained, the mood would be even sexier. To me, the whole vibe reminded me of mystery movies and detective shows; inevitably, the darkened high-rise apartment illuminated by lights through blinds would be used. Hey, if you're going to live a solitary, reclusive life, you might as well try to make it interesting!

    Recently, as I looked through a box of CDs I had packed away, and found my beloved copy of the score to An Ambush of Ghosts, a crap movie with a beautiful and disturbing soundtrack composed by In The Nursery, an industrial-turned-neoclassical experimental duo led by twin brothers Kilve and Nigel Humberstone. I never saw the movie, but then again, I never felt a need to do so; the soundtrack was more than enough for me. I developed the ritual of listening to this record at the midnight hour on Friday nights. Until last night, I hadn't listened to this record in nearly a decade. Revisiting this record has been a pleasant experience, and I feel compelled to share the experience.

    I can't really say why that trend developed; it just sort of happened, because, well, I was a dark person then and I liked dark things and this was a relaxing bit of darkness. I never bothered to look at song titles; the album was long enough to lead me to sleep when I needed to sleep. Yet, in a weird way, the starkness of the music played well against the ominously weird backdrop of blinds illuminated by soft light at two in the morning. Fortunately, the music was never too scary or disturbing; if anything, I found the music strangely reassuring. The spooky clips of dialogue didn't bother me, either.

    I miss those college days; I didn't have the direction I felt I needed, but I do have a few good memories, and my ritual of listening to this record is one of them. It relaxed me after a week of hard work; it made me forget my misery when I felt down; it made me feel moody and bleak when I wanted to enjoy feeling miserable. Unlike other records of this sort, I'd never fall asleep during it; I'd make it all the way to "'Hallucinations?'" and would usually knock out by the time the ubiquitous Harold Budd record would start to play.

    I didn't follow In The Nursery beyond this point, and I can't explain why. Perhaps because An Ambush of Ghosts was such a superior artistic statement, I simply didn't need to examine further; that their records were rather obscure and hard to find didn't help, either. Though I can't say anything about what they've done since releasing this record in 1993, I can most confidently affirm that An Ambush of Ghosts is a special record. And, if you follow this site and the music I like, you can see how this record influenced and shaped my musical tastes.

    Note: In the Nursery remastered and reissued this record last year. Well worth your time to find, friends....

    Listen To: "Sedation"
    Listen To: "Running Scene"
    Listen To: "Funeral II"
    Listen To: "Casus Belli"

    Labels: , ,

    posted by joseph kyle @ 2:03 AM  
    • At July 19, 2008 at 7:00 AM, Blogger louis said…

      Great songs, you can find more like these at

    • At January 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM, Anonymous Nathaniel Drake Carlson said…

      Hardly "a crap movie". In fact, a truly great one. Unfortunately it never got distributed. I remain hoping (especially with Stephen Dorff's impending career rejuvenation) that it will eventually get some kind of release.

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