Boomkat Product Review:
Tactile noise and static drones on this unsettlingly good dedication to Zbigniew Karowski from Californian sound artist Jim Haynes. Ear-splittingly noisy at times and almost peacefully grimy at others, it's industrial in nature but disarmingly low-key.
'When the Sky Burned' references a tough 2020 for the Western USA, where fires burned for months causing smoke to blot out the sun or shift the color of the light for days or weeks on end. Haynes uses this to inspire a tribute to an artist he admired via a tense working relationship, the Polish experimental musician Zbigniew Karowski, who died in 2013.
The music itself is a peaky set of static, dissonance and shortwave fuzz that betrays Haynes' years of experience as an artist and curator. It's too easy making this kind of post-industrial crumble to head into the sunken place and struggle to wrench yourself out, but Haynes offers bite-sized dunks, playing with space and form expertly. The album is a fitting reminder of a tense period of US history, and a sensitive dedication to Karowski.