The Decline Effect
by Massimo Ricci
When all seems lost, and the faith in the sanative attributes of a drone-based album dwindles because of too many broken illusions generated by pathetic imitators, here comes good old Jim Haynes with a double LP to save the day and reset the bar at a much higher height. Divided in four parts, respectively titled "Ashes", "Terminal", "Half-Life" and "Cold", The Decline Effect sounds like the incubation of an awareness of endangerment. Yet its playscript has been developed in such a way that the terminology used for the titles – which a normal person can’t help but associate to death – contrasts quite jarringly with the mind-fortifying qualities of a music that is destined to stay within ourselves for long. The transubstantiation of concrete matter into psychologically affecting phenomena lies at the basis of Haynes’ vision, intuitions becoming certainties during extended periods of aural staring. Various levels of modification give us no chance to accurately determine the processes behind these impressive concoctions of ominous crumbling, hissing exhalations, subsurface trembling and vaporized miasmas. One realizes about the presence of liquids, everyday objects, mechanized devices and other elements that – in the composer’s plan – are just means to describe transitions. Scenes of urban bleakness gradually dissolve while forms of majestic decrepitude, condensed resonances and treated metals conjure up haunting hymns to despair. Right there you realize that this is a mere starting point for a thorough reassessment of the self, and the frequencies that appeared so threatening are now escorting the ascension to uncharted areas of the cognitive system.