Jim Haynes - The Wires Cracked LP


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Label: Editions Mego

Our Review:

Jim Haynes offers his first album for the esteemed Editions Mego label; and like releases past, Haynes immediately delves into a world of decay. As a visual artist, he often states that his art consists simply of 'rusting things,' and rust is definitely a large part of his visual aesthetic. It's also evident that his goal is similar in the music making process in taking sounds and corrode them, treating them in such a way that they crumble and revealing whatever mysteries lurk within. Those subsequent sonic mysteries are also decaying, as if the process was akin to nesting dolls, layer upon layer of sound, peel one away and fall deeper into the abyss, one that seemingly has no termination point.

The source sounds here are quite varied as always (most notably this time around a particle accelerator), but Haynes tends toward the greys and browns, static and hiss molded into streaks and shimmers, melodies subverted and melted down into textures, the opening track on The Wires Cracked (another nod to decay), begins with a hushed rumble, an accretion of thrum and hum, pocked with bursts of static, and shards of granular buzz. As the track progresses, the melodic component, becomes more pronounced, but subtly so, still merely a show beneath Haynes' churning windstorm of sound, a blurred, muted squall that manages to whip up billows of caustic noise, but then tamps them down into something much more malleable.

The sprawling "X-Ray" lays down a field of field recorded crackle and spatter, foot steps on snow, broken glass, hard to say precisely, but that gristled crackle hovers beneath an opening blast of noise, before giving way, to a hushed creep, a distant keening shimmer beneath a series of near microscopic sonic events, headphones most definitely required, a hazy, gauzy expanse of windblown emptiness, the sonic approximation of a wintery tundra, transformed into sound, and again, wreathed in Haynes's slow shifting textures, and peppered with insectoid like chitter. The track seems to seesaw between thick, billowing soft noise swirl, and breathless minimal near nothingness, tense and intense, a sonic travelogue through some lost land, or perhaps as the title infers some strange network of inner pathways, not hard to imagine being shrunk down, injected into a human body, and traversing a series of blood vessels and capillaries, the previously silent sound of the body's inner workings, now rendered terrifying and overwhelming, an organic machine pulsing and throbbing, the listener lost in a world of darkness, with only these mysterious sounds as proof that the listener still exists.

The whole of the second side is taken up by the near 18 minute "November", which unfurls like ghosts in the machine, deciding to dismantle the machine before our very ears, again, the sound is seemingly being pulled apart, Haynes there to chronicle its gradual decay, the most active of the three tracks, erupting into huge droning tangles of crunch and crumble, wrapped in keening high end shimmers, occasionally dipping into serene stretches of bleary ambience, the eye of the sonic storm as it were, the sedges of the sonic field still corrosive and crumbling, lending an air of impending doom to these otherwise tranquil passages, but the hammer never falls, instead, the sounds gradually dissipate, the clouds of noise clearing, revealing a hushed landscape of whistle like tones, smoothed out into a blurred susurrus of streaked shimmer, pocked with what sounds like the rasp of stone on stone, a final moment of decay, before the record itself crumbles into silence.