DECAYCAST Reviews: Golden Donna “Hush” (Last Faith, 2020)
Electronic stalwart producer and ambassador to the underground Joel Shanahan, aka Golden Donna is back at it again with a stunning full length for David Last’s Last Faith Studios imprint, titled “Hush”. Shanahan’s different projects all have their own unique identity however, somehow he is always able to stitch together these through lines through all of the different projects that give the listener a sense of familiarity, belonging, and discovery all at the time time. “Hush” sounds both nostalgic and futuristic, at the same time, oscillating the line of new production techniques, idiosyncratic production and composition techniques, and tried and true pallets of sound and memory. These songs are cinematic, driving, at times tense, but also very euphoric, uplifting, hopeful in way that is both rare and needed.
The lush and symphonic pads of “Without You” create a sound and vibe that is both morose, slightly intensified by the sharp arpeggiated synths skating underneath the clouds of pads, but also confident, present, it’s living in the moment with whatever that moment brings, charging into meaning and splitting it into a thousand fragments, which will grow together in new ways, to create a rhizome of sound, meaning, and experience. Honesty is a feeling that rings through Shanahan’s dance floor staples, and practically every track on “Hush” is exactly that and so much more.
“Transplant” offers a similar array of lush pads , shifting , spattering percussion, waves of washing change, uncertainty, sonic travel into the subconscious of the dream state, exploding sounds of new beginnings, capped with entrails of a nearly forgotten past- Shanahan’s music is about time and space, and the elasticity of the convergence, at least this is what i feel when I’m immersed in the pulses of “Hush”. Shanahan might be one of the most important and innovative producers of our time, and this album proves it time and time again, absolutely essential 2020 listening, please go buy “Hush” rn.