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jim haynes - the wires cracked (album preview)

Experimedia with Scup on March 14, 2013 15:14

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    *Excerpts from the album. Now available from Experimedia.net.* Proprietor of the estimable Helen Scarsdale imprint and long-time Bay Area experimental music figurehead, Jim Haynes' output never ceases to wow me. My first exposure to his work was the wonderful "Magnetic North" (a glorious and worthy candidate for vinyl treatment *hint hint*). That album, along with the perhaps even richer "Telegraphy by the Sea" which followed it, cemented my enduring interest in Haynes' recordings, an interest that's never once been met with a letdown. 2011's "The Decline Effect" saw Haynes make a large leap forward with his aesthetic, and indeed "The Wires Cracked" constitutes yet another significant development of his craft. The album opens with "Oscar," an ominous, undulating cloud of amorphous sound. Haynes obscures (or rusts, as he likes to say) his source materials past the point of recognition. We're told in the press release that his palette is comprised of "shortwave radio static, electric field disturbances, controlled feedback manipulation, and numerous textural scrapings," but in Haynes' deft hands these disparate sources cohere into organic, colossal forms. The side-long "November" contains arguably the album's most arresting movements, beginning with highly-detailed industrial clatter which dissolves into a beautiful, cinematic bed of soft tonal manipulations and textures which rank with some of the most flat-out gorgeous sounds that I've heard from Haynes. Simply put, a true cracker of an album – one of my favorites on eMego in quite some time. Highly recommended. – Alex Cobb, Experimedia

    The recordings for The Wires Cracked were completed in a frenzied two week period in October of 2012. I had mentioned in discussing a previous album's construction that I prefer to forget how I build any particular electro-acoustic amalgam. This is so that I don't get to precious with them, so that I could refine them further, so that the sounds themselves speak beyond their aggregate parts. With the album being relatively fresh in my mind, I can still recall various components to "The Wires Cracked" -- the desolate howl of a metal screen activated by a desert wind, the hissing air compression from the cooling apparatus for a laser at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory operated by Stanford University, and the tremolo rhythms from a thin wire that still get me thinking fondly of Günter Schickert -- but much of the caustic drone, thrumming reverberation, and tactile grit thoroughly escapes me. That's probably for the best, since these various parts speak to an existential rupturing, the collapse of the self, the aftershocks of dark energy, and a belief in the hope for renewal. Describing his work through the pithy phrase "I rust things," Jim Haynes is an artist who has developed a vocabulary of decay that he has applied to photography, video, installation, and sound. Haynes' sound work draws from shortwave radio static, electric field disturbances, controlled feedback manipulation, and numerous textural scrapings, manifesting broken minimalism of magnetic drones and volatile tactility. This engineering of disparate materials and media seeks to evince the unpredictability of decay, to manifest its potential for a rough hewn beauty, and to bare witness to its inevitability. He has exhibited internationally at Electric Works (San Francisco), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art , the Bekerley Art Museum, The Exploratorium (SanFrancisco), WestSpace (Melbourne, Australia), Jack Straw Productions (Seattle), Eyedrum (Atlanta), Diapason (New York), and The Lab (San Francisco). Haynes has published his work through the Helen Scarsdale Agency, 23five Incorporated, Intransitive, Observatoire, and ElevatorBath. He has collaborated with Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound), M.S. Waldron (irr. app.(ext.)), Keith Evans, Allison Holt, and Loren Chasse. Haynes is one of the directors for 23five Incorporated and is the sole occupant at the Helen Scarsdale Agency.

    Released by: editions mego
    Release/catalogue number: emego171lp
    Release date: Mar 14, 2013

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