Jim Haynes - The Wires Cracked [Editions Mego - 2013]Jim Haynes is multi-media artist, who has a theme of “decay” running through his work, regardless the medium. Released on the avant garde label Editions Mego, “The Wires Cracked” is an amalgamation of atmospheric drones, electro-acoustic manipulations, shifting static and feedback.
“The Wires Cracked” in many ways is a kindred spirit to an album I reviewed last week, Hair Police’s “Mercurial Rites.” It’s not quite as horrorshow as the latter, but Mr. Haynes does an effective job utilizing just the right palette of sounds to create a very doomy atmosphere. He manages to do this through a seemingly minimalist approach to his craft. Track 1 “Oscar” is an exercise in static manipulation. It starts off with an immediate burst of static feedback, which caught me off guard. Is this a HNW album I’m reviewing? But alas, it slows down decaying into extended expanses of subtle cracks and pops (almost akin to record surface noise). In the background there’s an eerie swelling soundscape. The nearly 5 minute track ends with some synth buzzes.
Track 2 “X-ray” starts out with some minimal junk noise (rustling of metal parts) intermingled with more aggressive synth sounds, creating a swarming effect before chilling out into minimalist atmospheric backdrops. Within the body of the track we get some sweeps, rustling, walking on gravel, rubbing of metal pieces together, amplified wind, and other randoms sounds. It’s actually quite haunting. Overall it’s a rather quiet track that focuses on subtle sounds... sounds that are probably always present in our noisy lives, if we’d only take time to slow down to become aware of our surroundings.
Track 3 “November” begins with metal rattling that starts off slowly before building to a more cacophonous racket. It then goes into some eerie droning which would make a great soundtrack to a horror film. In the final moments of the 17+ minute track, we’re presented with repetitive screeching and the sounds of rocks being knocked about. Truthfully, I wished the end would have lasted a little longer.
“The Wires Cracked” is a thoroughly engrossing album. Mr. Haynes seamlessly melds minimalist junk noise with atmospheric synth drones, to craft 3 satisfying soundscapes. My only qualm, and it’s minor, is that there were some sounds that I would’ve like to have heard more of, but that’s nit picking really. This is a great record to listen to in solitude with your eyes closed, allowing yourself to immerse into the decay