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Jim Haynes Telegraphy by the Sea

by Grant Capes

Foxy Digitalis, February 2007

Beautifully packaged and executed minimalist drone from this established San Francisco artist, Telegraphy by the Sea is the second solo album put out by this under-rated sound destructor. Jim Haynes might be more known for his work as one half of Coelacanth (with the inimitable Loren Chasse), as well as one of five participants in the construction of The Sleeping Moustache. Add to that a good deal of writing for The Wire and a good deal of creating visual works of art (some of which grace this simple yet elegant package), and you would wonder why you haven't heard more about Jim Haynes.

Well, one answer could be that his music has hypnotized you into forgetting everything about him and his existence. The monstrous hour long track's reverberating waves could easily wash away all outside thought as you sink down into the ocean of white noise and distant ringing. Using mangled field recordings, ones that Haynes himself admits to demolishing to the point of no return, he constructs what could only be described as a sound recording of what the electromagnetic sphere above the Earth must sound like. It is a frightening collection of sweeping tones and metallic flutters, a singing bowl the size of the Earth, being played with a rusty knife blade.

A four-year project, Telegraphy by the Sea is a monolithic piece that thankfully takes several turns over its hour journey. Haynes has constructed a work comparable to the best of Basinski and even the most stunning of aquatic ambient albums Gavin Bryars' Sinking of the Titanic. With only five hundred of this CD around, you should do yourself a favor and sink into this blissful oblivion.