A notorious overlord of acoustic defacement, his soundscapes revolving around an elemental abrasiveness that would be regarded as genuinely dangerous in alternative contexts, Jim Haynes stands among the rare composers capable of eliciting the aural picture of a dysfunctional mechanism, be it mental, physical, or both. In that sense, the five tracks of Inconclusive are paradigmatic. Recorded after a residency at Recombinant Media Labs – whose head honcho, Naut Humon, is a fundamental figure in the Bay Area’s creative biology – they contain a classic Haynes recipe of inexplicable signals, incorporeal voices, sinister subsonics, stifling drones.
For decades now we have been admiring the man’s deftness when it comes to the sensible positioning of ground-crumbling rhythmic sequences in a tactile fog, or the portrayal of a mounting anguish through the accumulation of grimy frequencies and corrosive timbres. In several of his past releases, Haynes has occasionally provided the listener with a measure of tarnished hauntingness, a forlorn poetry of the subhuman that still offered a few glimpses of faint light. No chance this time, as he instantly scissors the tubes that bring oxygen to a decaying organism. “And Then, Theranos” – in a way recalling Norbert Möslang’s throbbing hyperrealities – might be an ideal psychological training for one’s slow melting inside a tank of boiling chemicals, whereas the consequences of the longest episode “At Nerve Ends” equal that of a toxic gas coming out of a morgue’s fluorescent lamps, erstwhile human presences already removed from the equation of an illogical earthly life.
The adjective “inconclusive” is a perfect representation of hopelessly anthropoid specimens inevitably convinced to be special, typically thinking of themselves as the owners of some sort of paranormal gift in between spiritual contradictions and intellectual inconsistencies. Moreover, it neatly symbolizes the multitudes of plans that remain unrealized on a systematic basis, in direct proportion with the superficial versatility of the jacks-of-all-trades who devise them. Ultimately, it is a stamp of certified failure on the bazillions of shallow relationships serving no other purpose than self-aggrandizing posturing, thanks to which latent tensions too often turn into out-and-out antagonism. With this superb-as-ever release Haynes has created a serviceable soundtrack for the detached observation of unintelligent behavioral patterns, giving us a temporary shelter from the imbalance of psyches crashing within spurious interactions.