REVIEW: E/I (US)
is a personally inscribed universe awash in swathes of expressionist tone color and arpeggios that scatter like a flock of birds. As on his contribution to 12k’s Blueprints
compilation, Jodi Cave exhibits tacit concern with these delicate pulses and pings that stairstep into the stratosphere, shaded by harmonium, guitar, and clarinet. Here, however, they are presented in an altogether more musical setting. The same thumps, skips, and gurgles recur in varying formations, establishing clear patterns, in relation to which the listener can orient themselves. Such a structure does not defy any expectation, but its sense of fluid motion and aquatic ping and delay is defined and sinewy enough to support one’s attention for the duration of the tracks, which, on a whole, range from two to seven minutes in length. With this foundation established, Cave focuses all the more on developing a strong polychromatic suite out of his small palette of sounds, collaging together small melodic scraps that, although they bear little trace of their original context, are nevertheless imbued with a nostalgic aura that remains like a residue hidden within the shimmer or hiss of the respective works. "Untitled", for one, is a stately, strangely pastoral blend of smooth, artful guitar figures and fluttering electronic tones. Taken as a whole, it is a piece of some beauty and sensuality, which is all the more satisfying for having been arrived at unaffectedly, without much calculation. The album presents a lightness of touch in the arrangement of brittle, flinty sounds; and, in general, pleasing tones fade into each other or fold back on themselves in a casual, almost playful, yet refined manner. Against the continuously flowing arc of blips and burbles, then, a stimulating encounter develops between intention and happenstance, abstraction and anecdote. These dialogues thereby extend the otherwise admittedly short life-span of such a record, ensuring the cerebral is counterbalanced with pleasure of a more sensual kind.