Greg Haines: Where We Were (Denovali)
The latest offering from sound artist Greg Haines is decidedly different from his others. Haines himself describes it as “explorations into rhythms, tape machines and synthesizers,” but his fans may still be surprised by the results. It starts off typically enough with some delicate piano work in a pastoral and beautiful opener that blows out into a prolonged crescendo, but much to my surprise, Haines is far more restless this time around. Some tracks on Where We Were cross over into techno, synthesis, and other more rhythmic areas of electronic music. “The Whole,” for instance, starts with a chugging tribal rhythm section before giving way the cloud of airy drones and incidental noise that follows in “Wake Mania Without End II.” “Something Happened” is downright dubby with its buoyant bass and drippy reverb, an interesting juxtaposition next to “So It Goes,” a painfully gorgeous beatless synth piece, all elegiac, swelling, tied chords. It’s a very different set of ideas from Haines, but a welcome departure that shows his versatility as an artist.