He Can Jog – a nifty little anagram of John Cage, perhaps takes some of its influence from the Great Man in terms of innovative solutions and skewed approaches. This is a charming, engaging little piece that invites instant comparisons to Brit minimalist composers, The Boats, or Mole Harness. U.S based Erik Schoster is the personality behind He Can Jog, and on Middlemarch, we see him inviting a cluster of musicians to augment and filter through his works. Most prominent are the cut and paste-type pieces that use fractured harmonies, and layered beats and blips. There are a variety of solutions on display here, that echo a truly post modern canvas, covering everything from the dripping melancholia of “Agnes (after woodland pattern)”, with its soothing harmonics and lilting loops, to the itchy minimalism of “Pan – Fried Fern”.” “Contractors and Architects” is essentially a mini pop melody, infused with vocals from Nick Sanborn, and has an infectious, bubbly refrain, with little of the rest of the album’s cut and slice approach.
Throughout the collection, there are various surreal interruptions and interventions, oddly placed narratives, and words appearing as if from nowhere, that locate themselves outside of the pieces, yet somehow cohere with it at the same time. Non-linearity is the order of the day, with each narrative being spliced and grafted onto other elements in an unsettling, but highly engaging assemblage. To use the word “collage” would perhaps be a little trite, but this is indeed a fresh and expertly crafted CD that takes digital composition to some kind of logical extreme. If this is the future of modern composition, then count me in, and once again, Audiobulb asserts itself as a highly intelligent, innovative promoter of the digital (and post –digital) aesthetic.BGN