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Jim Haynes The Decline Effect

Whisperin' and Hollerin' by Christopher Nosnibor
November 2011

    This is bleak. Ambient at its darkest, most minimal and haunting. The Decline Effect is a double LP, on which each side contains a single track, centred around long, low drones, hisses and the interminable crackle and fizz of static. The titles are all suitably bleak-sounding: "Ashes"; "Terminal"; "Half-Life"; "Cold". I’m reminded of Robert Burton's 17th Century text The Anatomy of Melancholy, which detailed in the richest language the terrible physical symptoms of melancholy and its effects on the humours of the body. In it, he writes of "the substance of the brain cloudy and dark, all the objects thereof appear terrible, and the mind itself, by those dark, obscure, gross fumes, ascending from black humours, is in continual darkness, fear, and sorrow; divers terrible monstrous fictions in a thousand shapes and apparitions occur, with violent passions, by which the brain and fantasy are troubled and eclipsed…" The Decline Effect could well be the soundtrack to this book. There’s something interior and organic about the deep, dark rumblings, the shadowy tonality of Haynes’ work of creeping sonic fog. It doesn’t so much get under your skin as creep around in the most inaccessible reaches of the colon, the spleen, the pancreas, appendix and bowel.