Jim Haynes made Flammable Materials From Foreign Lands on an artist’s residency in Estonia, arranged with the help of field recording / sound art supremo Simon Whetham. Much of the source material was grabbed from the airwaves via shortwave radio in evocative post-Soviet ruins, so this record is packed with crackle and hum and the traces of dark memories. Yummy. Clear vinyl LP on Elevator Bath.
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- Flammable Materials From Foreign Lands by Jim Haynes
8/10 Ant Staff review, 19 January 2017
More tracks from Jim Haynes, mostly recorded during his Estonian ‘Active Crossover’ residency. I’ve previously written about some of Jim’s work from this project, which came out via the ‘Throttle & Calibration’ cassette on his The Helen Scarsdale Agency label. I think this LP actually came out before the tape, but we only just scored copies.
The artists succinct description of his working method “I rust things” is a pretty good indication of what to expect if you’re a Haynes noob. How exactly he processes and decomposes sound remains a mystery, but whatever exactly it is that he does to his recordings, gives his work something of a trademark sound. And we’re not talking a simple tape hiss VST plug-in here.
‘Of Blast and Bleach’ is something like an arcane radio signal being transmitted through time and space via a blackhole, landing on earth for a brief duet with broken jackhammer on an abandoned building site where nature is slowly reclaiming the land. The signal bounces off pylons and then gets absorbed into the cables. The hum, drone and crackle of ‘Nyet’ oozes paranoia before ‘E. Kohver’ drones like a possessed Eliane Radigue before her synthesizer malfunctions and combusts into flames.
Over on the flipside ‘Electric Speech : Nadiya’ plays like some exhumed, damaged tape of Cold War radio transmissions / numbers stations. There’s clear nods to Robert Ashley’s ‘Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon’ from his classic 1979 album ‘Automatic Writing’. This was apparently the only music Stephen Stapleton could listen to while tripping on acid without feeling claustrophobic and paranoid. Here, Haynes is equally inspired by Nurse With Wound's ‘A Missing Sense’ which is kinda NWW’s version of 'Automatic Writing' and expands on the collage of clipped female voices idea, with his execution giving things a paranormal/EVP type quality.
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