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Jim Haynes - Scarlet [The Helen Scarsdale Agency - 2015]

California artist Jim Haynes has made a career out of "rust[ing] things." His continued decay of sculpture, photography, and sound has seen his work exhibited internationally. With a solid discography built over the past sixteen years, Jim sees his latest release, Scarlet, coming to us from The Helen Scarsdale Agency on cassette. Crackle, crunch, and a bit of pulse make up the basis of a very enjoyable album.

Pulsed, loop driven noise can be tough to pull off. On paper, it sounds like pure gold, but, more often than not, you end up with drivel like Merzbeat. On Scarlet, Jim avoids this pitfall by letting the noise move on its own and not forcing patterns and beats upon it. This organic development leads to a more natural feel, and textures that supplement your environmental noise instead of taking over. "Cerise Cerise" begins Scarlet in exactly this manner. Pulses of noise draw the listener in before buzzy drone takes over. "Racine To Vermillion" showcases quicker, more urgent pulses that stand in contrast to softer, longer drones than in "Cerise Cerise." That's not to say that this whole album is built like this. Near death industrial tracks like "Pfenning M" and "Acrid" show that Jim is very much in control of his sounds and can turn the punishment up when desired. Cold and menacing, but still feeling natural, these pieces are great examples of Jim's talent and ear.

Scarlet is a crispety, crunchety, not quite peanut buttery album that crackles (Krackel(s)?), moves, and buzzes with an easy naturalness. Not feeling the pressure to make any song into something it's not, Jim Haynes crafts a thorough and enjoyable album. Having experienced Scarlet, I would like to view some of his visuals while enjoying and digesting his sounds. Check this one out!

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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