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Sever
Intransitive Recordings, 2009

A few years back, Howard Stelzer had commissioned me to produce an album for his stalwart Intransitive Recordings imprint. The resulting album Sever is finally out. The first 100 copies of the album will come with a bonus disc entitled Severed. I've long admired Intransitive and its proprietor Howard Stelzer, so I'm honored to be amongst many fine and upstanding releases. Here's what Howard has to say about the record, and then there's some of my own thoughts.

"It gives me great pleasure to present Sever, the third solo album by San Francisco-based composer Jim Haynes, whose singular music evades simple attempts to describe it. The process of decaying and wearing down materials is implied in Sever; its passages of rough clang and cyclic scraping metal seem implacably tangible, as if one is witnessing time-lapsed erosion in action. For me, Sever conjures images of oncoming storms, abandoned industrial sites, huge empty warehouses, creaking glass, ships rocking in a port, the middle of the ocean far from land. Sever is an engaging album of evocative, highly visual drone music made up of layers upon organic layers that are in constant motion, and yet seem somehow still. Jim Haynes has collaborated with Loren Chasse (as the duo Coelacanth), Keith Evans, Steve Stapleton (Nurse With Wound) and irr.app.(ext.)." -- Howard Stelzer / Intransitive Recordings

"One of the first reviews that had ever been authored about my sound work (this being in Coelacanth with Loren Chasse) referenced Small Cruel Party. At the time, I only had the Drone single from Small Cruel Party; and admittedly, that was a single that didn't ignite my imagination. Many years later, I had come realize that this reference should be read as a huge compliment, as the Small Cruel Party albums Islands Of Sleep, Stain On Pure Glass, and In Thicket are all masterworks of tactile sound construction. Each displays a minimalist ethos at its heart, with compositions that proceed along taut linear arcs for little more than a set of bells, a crunching of sand, and a drone. Sever owes its inception to Small Cruel Party. Although if this were considered an homage, it's certainly a failure, as my persistent needling into the details of a parametric filter sweep or my insistence upon the conceit of a flickered melody prevents Sever from adopting the true strategies and thus the true success of Small Cruel Party. That said, there are bells, there is sand, and there are plenty of drones" -- Jim Haynes