Middlemarch – He Can Jog (Audiobulb)


He Can Jog

He Can Jog hinges upon the notion that one needs others in order to think for oneself – that the enrichment of thought depends on encounters with others and their involvements in life. Ergo the albums content, which revolves around the distortion, confusion, and invention brought about by others, but also its form: a tightly-knit community of prickly guitars, trills of synths, percolating electronics and seesawing fuzz.

Above all, though, the music breathes; vocals run up against and are cut-up into pointillist beats, rebounding percussive loops mesh with swarms of high pitches, and keyboard lines spring up from their reverie to provide arpeggiated counterpoint to warm, wooden knocking and nagging, choppy cascades of electronics. There’s something of a taste for dramatic assemblage, too, with Erik Schoster often forming clean, glistening melodies like oysters forming around grit. “Suite Part Four”, for one, creates a maze of ethereal harmonics, in which a warm, near-celebratory bell pattern circles around itself as though in a daze, before the whole thing is broken open by a propulsive plastic rhythm.

Schoster often switches between styles with some skill, but occasionally their combination proves problematic, as there’s a certain tentativeness in the music that is probably the result of the attempt to find commonalities in the musics various participants. The odd piece, such as “My (Mothers) Records”, thus sounds like a less than favorable compromise. Among others, though, the twelve minute closer, “Suite Parts One and Two”, reasserts the strong suites of this digital etherealism – its tolling bells and a computerized firestorm hover over and rain down on a churning drone, evoking the massive presence of an environment awaking from hibernation.

Max Schaefer


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