A Journal Of The Dark Arts
On his newest release, Jim Haynes reminds us the void is very full, after all.
“I rust things” are the first three words of Haynes’ artist statement, which goes on to explain Haynes’ fascination with degradation, across a variety of media.
We here at Forestpunk are obsessed with all things aged – that either appear or actually have been lost in the tall grass, or lying next to the side of the ride. Time and it’s effects is one of the topics we are most interested in – the melancholy of nostalgia, or the romanticization of distant times.
The Shudder Of Velocity is an attractive longform collage of coruscating grey/black noise, Geiger counter radiation clicks and shortwave radio transmissions, plucked from the either. The effect is of taking a sandblaster to the lacquer of an Anselm Kiefer painting, and falling into it’s depths.
“Tear” kicks things off, with a distant rumble, like pressing yr ear up against a TV tuned to static, before the bottom drops out, and drops you in the swirling dark ambient void. It reminds us of all that is right and (un)holy with both dark ambient and harsh noise, while avoiding the perils of each. First off, every scrape, rub, and blemish sounds hand-recorded, and placed. This is no mere plug-in, plugged-in, and left to do it’s business (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s hard to find the time to listen to such things). The static and cacophany sounds analog, like small, cheap radios, and fritzing TVs and tape recorders. It stands up against the best and most obsessive of the HNW merchants, Vomir, The Rita, The Haters and their battalion of grinding wheels. This noise emerges from a backdrop of echoing, cavernous winds, that sound like lost souls, and a radioactive cloud, that could be what walking around inside a sonar sounds like. “Tear” avoids the boredom and unoriginality of a lot of dark ambient material, and instead focuses on it’s ability to evoke deep space. This is what i imagine it would sound like to be floating in inky blackness, with disembodied radio signals and gamma rays whizzing past yr eyes, causing interference in yr headset.
Coming off of such meditative stasis, the noise blast of “Scald”‘s haunted Tibetan hunting horns is truly startling, only to return you to the vacuum. The horns herald the rending of the veil, filling deep space with whispering spectres. Like those Hubble pictures of Heaven and Hell.
“Stifle” is the shortest of the 3 tracks, at a mere 9:30, and is mostly floating ambiance, more void, more drift. It also sounds like what Thomas Carnacki might hear, inside of one of those haunted bedrooms, or Quatermass might’ve encountered, in those industrial ruins. The radar drift suddenly explodes with a distant, thunderous drum, the only hint of a rhythm in the whole affair. Indicating the end of the ritual. Or the beginning, the coming of the beast.
You’ve got to love anybody that fosters a new appreciation of harsh noise or dark ambient. Haynes’ is an interesting artist, that I can’t wait to hear more from.
Handmade CD-r’s are still available from Noisendo