Jim Haynes
Cassette HMS030

March 2015

...the one from Haynes is on cassette, and purposely so as he wanted Scarlet to appear in a format renowned for, in his own words, “all of the imperfections, warts, and scars of that medium.” Conceived as variations on the theme of “repetition through trauma,” the fifty-minute release's eight mutations crackle with scabrous purpose. A noisier affair than So LongScarlet plays like an extended psychotic episode packed with enough electro-magnetic disturbances to make the skin crawl. The roar of industrial equipment forms an ongoing backdrop to Haynes's schizoid breakdowns, which don't so much spiral out of control as agitate obsessively in place. Representative of the cassette's material, “Racine to Vermillion” contorts itself into flickering convulsions for the full measure of its thirteen minutes, while “Mordant Red 15” does much the same during its B-side run. At other moments, Scarlet works up a metallic wail that'll have you either strapping yourself in or checking your heart monitor. It's heartening to learn that Haynes isn't without a sense of humour, as intimated by a sleeve note that reports that “all recordings of strobe lights, shortwave radio, and psychic disturbance were captured within The Helen Scarsdale Agency's shipping container during the summer of 2014.” Presumably he wouldn't be offended by someone laughing in response to the recording's wilder goings-on as opposed to responding to it more soberly.