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Jim Haynes Magnetic North
Coelacanth The Glass Sponge

Outer Limits by Keith Moliné
The Wire, 240 February 2004

Sound artist and Wire contributor Jim Haynes describes his work with the admirably terse statement, "I rust things." In collaboration with Loren Chasse (a regular in various Jewelled Antler projects), he has produced a ravishing document in The Glass Sponge. Don't let the aquatic references of title and group name fool you; this isn't an album of lazy ocean atmospherics. Soft drones blossom and then oxidise in graceful slo-mo, with faint striations of disturbed electronics suggesting something ancient and barnacle-encrusted. Haynes' solo disc is calmer and colder, but more panoramic. His work is essentially static, but his lightness of touch prevents it from becoming monolithic, there being a wealth of slowly evolving detail to be enjoyed. Evocative of polar landscapes and other vast open spaces but somehow sounding private, intimate, and alive; it's a truly beautiful album.