Nicholas Zhu’s previous efforts as bod [包家巷] saw them folding context both online and off into palpable concepts like MoVA (Museum of Virtual Art) as well as sound pieces Advent of the Silicon Rain [硅雨来临] and Limpid Fear [清澈恐惧], released through Quantum Natives and KNIVES, respectively. Zhu’s music is primarily constructed through piano and voice, “performed” through active manipulation of a MIDI instruments and vocal recordings overlaid and situated in field recordings and soundtrack rips. The resulting world created reads as documentations or meta-considerations of the present moment, measurements of the experience of life through technologically informed sound design.
The latest bod [包家巷] work, entitled The Recurrence Of Infections [复发感染], is an elliptically sweet yet unsettling audio piece that conceptualizes a state of mind in “the quiet hours of laborious coping that fall into the areas between work and sleep.” It comes with additional sound and video supplements that "are components of the larger, continuous work that is living." The title refers to a series of health issues that they had while living in Los Angeles.
Zhu has stated in previous interviews that their practice in music is distinct from their art, citing “socioeconomic precarity” as a driving force behind their work. “I put my studio practice on hold specifically to work on music (for efficacy, music allows me to engage with people in a way that art can’t) knowing that meaning doesn’t translate, even when literally transcribed.”
The spacious desolation and emotional surges that are felt in the sound piece aren’t intended to impart meaning as much as expressing an affect, specifically attuned to the darker moments in one’s life when they are self-loathing, lost in unease and intense fear. The work varies from calm and polymorphous soundscapes to maximal onslaughts of noise and harmonies, each section stitched to the next as nonlinear, anecdotal chapters in a story of personal experience.
released December 7, 2018
Photography by Nicholas Zhu
Artwork by Niels Wehrspann
Mastering by Ten Eight Seven