Jim Haynes
Magnetic North CD HMS 001

Aquarius Records
reviewed by Jeremiah Allan Horrocks

Feedback, shortwave, wasps! Perhaps that's all we need to say to get you to
click the "add to cart" button, but let's go on...
Jim Haynes may be primarily a visual artist, working within a self-actualized aesthetic of rust and decay (a small sample of which you'll get with the each-one-unique cover to this release). But his love of music, especially of the 'dronological' variety, of sound art and field recording and experimental glitchscapes, has led him to accompany his recent art shows and installations with soundtracks of his own making. He's also been collaborating with AQ-fave Loren Chasse in the duo Coelacanth, who just released the very nice Glass Sponge disc, so you know he knows what he's doing. This Magnetic North cd is the audio portion of an installation of the same name and is a despairingly lovely drone-scape, constructed from feedback, shortwave radio static, and recordings of wasps, as we said. Like his visual art, it's just a little spooky and discomforting, evoking ghostly transmissions from the void. It's quiet, wind-tunnel drone that could be a wordless EVP recording of a paranormal haunting, and then begins to sound like the haunting is being itself haunted! Jim's solo work seems less microscopic in focus than what he and L. Chasse do in Coelacanth. It can be claustrophobic, but conversely also spacious and even somehow incorporeal, phantasmal. One track features sparsely chopped clips of feedback, but we like best the tracks that drift endlessly without making the listener consider the physical sound-making process. Definitely for fans of Mirror, John Duncan, Francisco Lopez, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson...or for anyone willing to plumb the abyss suggested by this sound-work.