Thursday, February 26, 2009
Jim Haynes - Telegraphy By The Sea (2006)
It's difficult to find much information about Jim Haynes apart from the fact that he lives in San Fransisco and that he holds an odd fascination for rusty objects. Despite his relative anonymity, however, he has inconspicuously created an album of remarkable depth and creativity, one that should certainly be more widely heard.
The album consists of a single hour long track, created from a massive library of found sounds accumulated over a period of four years. Don't bother trying to pick out the source material, though. Haynes has processed everything beyond the point of recognition, though not without its retaining a nagging sense of familiarity.
The sounds on the record are mainly drone like, encompassing a wide variety of different textures. At times I am reminded of embers smoldering in a cast iron stove. Other sounds resemble machinery at work and rolling thunder. Listening to the album is a bit like twisting the dials of a car radio in the middle of nowhere, picking up strange sounding static and the occasional very faint signal, while always feeling you are about to stumble onto just the right frequency.
Whereas most ambient music works best as background noise and subconscious listening, "Telegraphy By The Sea" is the rare record that is actually difficult to ignore. It has the odd quality of commanding one's attention, like a speech that seems like it is about to turn profound, but never quite does.