HE CAN JOG: Middlemarch (Audiobulb Records)


Posted on Jul 3rd 2008 11:58 pm

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

He Can Jog: Middlemarch

Aubiobulb Records 2008
09 Tracks. 43mins06secs

The strangely named He Can Jog is one of the many projects of Brooklyn-based sound artist Erik Schoster who focuses primarily on textural sound explorations. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Schoster spent his formative years studying composition and improvisations. In the last four years, he has released a handful of MP3 EPs and his work has also been featured on a few compilations, including on no less than four from Sheffield’s excellent Audiobulb, which have been nurturing his talent for some time. It is therefore only fair that they got to release Middlemarch, the follow up to his debut album, New Ground Has Not Broken, Soil Last Week And Dirt Today, released in 2004.

Right from the onset of Suite Part Four, which opens, Schoster establishes an elegant laptopestry made of interferences, glitches and statics upon which he builds subtle little melodic pieces which often develop into gentle layered miniature symphonies, usually contained within three-to-five minute compositions. The album seems articulated around the four Suites, beginning, as mentioned above with Part Four, Suite Part Three following a couple of tracks in and the epic Suite Parts One And Two, which closes the album. The remaining compositions stand very well on their own however, whether it is the short interludes Dials, with its minimal drone-like setting, or A Small Thing, with its bubbling statics and embryo of melody which originally fails to develop, but finally comes to life on Contractors And Architects, the only vocal track on the album, or with more fully formed tracks. Surprisingly upbeat and clearly defined against the rest of the album, the refined Suite Part Three is in part reminiscent of Four Tet circa Pause, but this is in no way a criticism as Schoster does this kind of things rather well. My (Mother’s) Records, which follows, combines processed acoustic guitars, found sounds and sliced vocal samples into a much tightly woven ball of sounds.

The album then veers toward slightly darker and colder grounds with Agnes (After Woodland Pattern) and Pan-Fried Fern, which, although remaining sonically close to the rest of the album, appear to echo the foggy atmosphere of the cover photograph, which shows a young girl, bare feet, walking in a wintry woodland. The piece de resistance of Middlemarch comes with concluding piece Suite Parts One And Two, which develops over twelve and a half minutes and two distinct sections, the first one appearing like a stripped down version of the second, where Schoster deploys the richest soundscapes and melodies of the record.

With Middlemarch, He Can Jog’s Erik Schoster has created a rather beautiful and intimate record which delights and charms all the way through, thanks to carefully crafted sound formations and melodies which continuously grow and develop. Middlemarch is one of these records that procure continuous listening pleasure by somehow giving the impression of never sounding quite the same twice.


He Can Jog | Audiobulb Records
Buy: iTunes

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

Comments are closed.