Jim Haynes
Flammable Material from Foreign Lands [LP; Elevator Bath]

Jim Haynes’ music seems to get described the same way over and over, and while that’s fairly typical these days the Helen Scarsdale Agency head deserves better. His compositions represent more than mere decay and sound degradation; they also reveal the beauty inherent in all tough-to-love noise compositions that us small, cowered masses can’t seem to get over. It’s like waiting to go to war. “Nyet” is like sitting within the castle walls as the more-numerous enemy advances, which would seem like a negative association until you realize you’re not actually going to battle and the tenseness you feel is just your bodily systems responding to a piece of music that hits parts of your consciousness you didn’t know existed. My advice is to let it happen. Flammable Materials from Foreign Lands worms its way into your ears subtly, and you might even forget it for a second if you’re distracted. Which is, rightly, why you might find your ears crackling a bit when the hard stuff rains down like acid and your throat fills with poison. “E. Kohver,” to the contrary, won’t take advantage of your sloth, but its intricacies are much too fascinating to ignore anyway, and “Electric Speech: Nadiya” is too broad to tame with my pen no matter how sharp it is (my pen, that is), as clipped voice samples move through a labyrinthine maze of sound surges and, now that I’m immersing myself fully in it, a terrifying backing drone that horrifies by dint of its subtlety. If the voices aren’t calling out from isolation in space, they’re echoing out of the darkest, deepest chamber of hell, the one that isn’t red and fiery but dim and desultory. This one’s a real head-fuck folks, almost like music the people of the future will have to decode before its full capabilities are realized. Haynes is an intense dude, and the way he navigates the nether-regions of abstract static, finding a different enclave to explore every time, is inspiring and invigorating. Flammable Materials from Foreign Lands is yet another (limited-edition) reason to get on-board with Elevator Bath and its appealing lineup of exp stars both old and new, and its clear-vinyl edition is only 300 copies strong. You know what I’m getting at…

Links: Elevator Bath


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