The Conditioning is the second EP by Pennsylvania-based dark electronic band, The Number H.
The Conditioning explores feelings of loss, frustration and regret. The first song of the album, “Nothing”, opens with a thunderstorm and hits hard with the feelings of frustration: “Nothing will come of Nothing” references inaction begetting no progress and thus no change in condition.
After frustration we move to “Grief” depicting the feeling through the imagery of the words cherry-picked from Constance’s monologue in Shakespeare’s King John and the atmosphere created by the layered soundscapes throughout the track. Confusion of self and purpose is then explored in “Tell Me” referencing King Lear’s “who is it that can tell me who I am”, an echoing question of existential confusion to which there isn’t an answer.
The EP concludes with “Undone” referencing “what’s done, cannot be undone” wherein the burden of regret should be dispelled and focus shifted to that which can be impacted. It is a reminder to the listener here at the end of the EP to not dwell on regret and to give themselves the space for growth and forward motion.
The Conditioning stays true to the first EP in that it uses a mixture of found and original spoken phrases, harvested sounds and layered dark electronics beats and soundscapes. The found phrases originate exclusively from Shakespeare plays – with their timeless and flawless description of raw emotions.
The harvested sounds are all that which are encountered and recorded in day-to-day life – the sound of running footsteps, a passing train, a thunderstorm, a leaky faucet – manipulated and creatively incorporated into beats and soundscapes to enhance the feeling of the tracks.