Somewhere in the distant past, back rested against a second hand couch in a dimly lit basement, I hear the steady clicking of a Playstation 2’s disk tray working its magic. I find myself surrounded in pre-teen, nerd glory, playing an aggravating round of “blitzball”and strengthening my Lulu with a strategic placement of spheres. This may sound foreign to most, as my obsession with Japanese culture goes far beyond the realm of the video game Final Fantasy X, but, I suppose there’s connectivity in everything.
Hopefully one can understand my fan girl excitement over a live musical endeavor labeled undoubtedly and formerly, “Zanarkand”, after the main character’s world that is laid to waste at the exposition of the aforementioned role playing video game.
But I digress, even though I now I sit in an equally dimly lit room, listening to the clicks of my fingertips on an outdated laptop, ears processing the ambiance that is Nude Human.
Formed in 2012, Madison, Wisconsin-based Nude Human is a collaboration of John Praw and Pat Reinholz. Their most recent release, Is Is Is Not is Not, (also entitled Zanarkand) represents the duo’s ability to blend sounds in an environmentally lush landscape. The live EP was recorded this past November 17 at the Frequency located in Madison, Wisconsin and is the band’s sophomoric attempt at a live session formatted EP.
In its length, Is Is Is Not is Not is an atmospheric onslaught. Clocking in at just under twenty-four minutes, Praw and Reinholz create something awe-inspiring. The EP opens up with the simple taps of a hand drum and the gentle stroke of stringed instrumentation. Vocals chime in, adding a chilling layer to the piece, echoing each ambient note as if they were the beautiful apparitions of dead loved ones grazing a dreamy cheek through a cracked window.
Half-way through the EP, a percussion ding is a tarmac for audible lyricism, as the vocals take-off into a falsetto of spacey “love”. The voice dies out, replaced by the ticking of a clock and a deep bang of a steady drum against the unsettling noise of inaudible, pixilated speaking and airy oohs /aahs. A buzzing is heard at the EP’s resolution; a dull hum of a television interacting with your brain waves and a laughing memory of dual shock controller between your thumbs.
The track/EP is now available for download through Mine All Mine Records, with a physical copy coming out soon. For now, you can listen to Is Is Is Not is Not (Zanarkand) below.
(Sorry Nude Human, didn’t mean to go overboard with the Final Fantasy anecdotes. The giddy fan girl in me came out!)