DECAYCAST Reviews: Golden Donna “Hush” (Last Faith Studios, 2020)

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.



DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)


Witowmaker is the project of Bay Area electronic producer and internet cult personality Christopher Danko, also of Stable imprint/collective, and Religious Girls fame. On “Feather”, Danko crafts ten lush, dynamic,  emotionally present, fun and heavy electronic “dance” tracks which float the listener to an oscillating plane of lush tone poem arpeggiations, thick walls of decaying synthesizers, heavy, dynamic drum programming, atmospheric flutterings, and concisely layered, and intricately mapped vocal samples. The overall sound of Witowmaker is, at times,  surprisingly warm and ‘positive’, with a tinge of sarcasm, and at other times, darker, more dissonant, and even emotionally confusing in an interesting and uncontrived manner. Tension is sonically available throughout the wide range of aural moods on “Feather”, one track is accentuating the bent light sunshine across crashing waves, while the next track descends into another layer of cosmic hell, unsure of the outcome. Refreshing; this is a fun and important release in the arch of bay area electronic musings.

“Feather” offers complex, lush, delicate sonic textures while still retaining a pounding, thick, four to the floor heaviness which pulls from Acid, Dub, IDM and a dense warped version of straight-up dance music. Remnants of influence from Aphex Twin, FKA Twigs,  DJ Spooky, Art Of Noise, and later Carl Cox can be heard in the glistening, bright, affront production, yet Witowmaker offers a unique style of dance based electronic music all their own! The B side begins with a fast tempo, funky bass arp track titled “Trick Me Twice” which rings back to 90’s NRG/bass music with an experimental flare all it’s own. A classically trained arp machine spits out climbing cascading  rhythms while lush pads provide a warm backbone for chopped and glued vocal slices, offering a dense, warm, funky dance floor banger. Plug my ears with a drill to extract the earplugs that have been stuck for centuries at the club, ‘cause this is the high tempo, low bullshit dance music I’ve been waiting for.

This little tone machine gets funkier and more dynamic with each spin!  Other tracks like the B side’s “Contamination” offer a darker, more evil-grin means of electronic stylings, which perhaps might be the  darkest and most warped track on the album, pleasing the listener as the acid kicks in and everything changes. Witowmaker is refreshingly honest, dark and delicately crafted dance music for the jokester in all of us laughing to the trap door of life  until the doors spin open and we’re left wandering through a world of confusion not knowing what we’ve seen nor heard. Look for more from this project, we will be. Side note: this is one of the best sounding and best LOOKING tapes we have received in some time, and it’s refreshing when the visual look and sound unite to create a beautiful package of lush electronic presentation.  Order this tape, now!


Here’s also some free bandcamp download codes for the album:  redeem at










DECAYCAST Reviews: JASMINE INFINITI “Y1” (Self Released/NWD, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: JASMINE INFINITI “Y1” (Self Released/NWD, 2018)


Jasmine Infiniti comes  correct with this original production track, titled “Y1” Everything about this track hits in just the right way for an industrial danceclub bomb on the  unsuspecting audience. The track opens with just a thudding drum but slowly gains speed  and chaos with glitched-out industrial polyrhythms, in the pocket blown out synthesizers, churning bodies melting in the smoke filled room. Jasmine Infiniti is known for her uncanny, heart pounding, leg  twisting, room shaking,surrealist sound sorceried mixed genre DJ sets, but these  original productions, while informed by her DJ aesthetic take things to a whole different level of body moving bangers; alien voice transmissions and thudding electronic breakdowns, blending sharp, swift vocal stabs, chopping dicing synths, and heavy, funky, abrasive four to the floor clanging percussion,  Infiniti creates a  sound and  aesthetic thats unique,  different, important and all her own. Look out for an EP and follow her  collective NEW WORLD DYSORDER. Infiniti takes her knowledge of  mixing, turntablism, rhythm and density and amplifies it  across these original compositions with unique, heavy and promising results.

Infiniti has been setting trends in sound and  image long before this track and will be doing so long after, support this important in groundbreaking, unique artist any way you can!

“The Queen of Hell, Jasmine Infiniti is a New York Native whose dj roots started in Oakland, CA. A long time member of the House of Infiniti, Jasmine became the mother of the Bay Area Chapter, though she now resides in Brooklyn, New York. She blends dark and sometimes ambient techno and industrial sounds with break beats and cunty tracks creating a unique soundscape glimpsing into the future.”




DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)


This collaboration shifts  honestly between many many different  sonic spaces; in the least contrived blending of  beat oriented synthesis and, well plants.  Riffing off a  theme of the releasing label, Biodiversità Records, Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë create a dense, special world of  sonic possibilities in a structurally rhythmic call and response ping pong of tense, delicate, and complicated sonic events.  Oscillating between dissonant beat oriented electronic music which the  artists admit could be  considered “techno” but the  four to the floor mindless speed comedown hooks are  left  by the wayside for a more atonal, arrhythmic, deconstruction of traditional “techno”, “dubstep” or whatever step” you take away from these quaint but pungent sonic exercises.  “Pteris Variata” unduates  between slower, cold, tense pulsing rhythms, occasionally backed by more straightforward  percussive  voices, however the  ambient  swells and  tense array of  noises never  allows this to become too much of  a  unique sound; the tracks and  sections move  swiftly and  articulate their space and move on, nothing forces the listener into a corner relentlessly, rather  creates a dark and interesting space for the listener to crawl into if they choose and explore a lush, dark, cinematic sound.

Background  swells of anciently articulated sawtooth waves  swell and wobble under a filter noose and offer an ambience which the percussion rhythms can dance around without dominating the mix.  Overall the  vibe is minimalist, tense, cinematic, ambient. Clickity, tapping, bass drums drive the  rhythm exercises through a  full workout of  sonic possibilities ending with perhaps the  EP’s strongest track, ” Oromë – Athyrium cantem” which speaks to  early Phaedra era Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos and  even references current producers such as Cloudland Canyon or Peaking Lights.

Will be  digging more through this  Italian based label’s catalog and seeing what other dark, pulsing treats we can find hiding in the brush.

decayREVIEWS : Flourescent Gray “Ambiente” (3xCD , RecordLabelRecords, 2013)


fluorescent Gray is one of the artists of RecordLabelRecords,an Oakland based imprint releasing intricate and dissonant works from the bay area and beyond-  from Thomas Dimuzio, Flouresent Gray ,Nommo Ogo and more. With a clean and fresh aesthetic, the attention to detail and themes of science fiction, mind alterations psychedelic based  minimalist textures in both  image and sounds RecordLabelRecords has seem to craft an aesthetic that for The most part, is all their own . These themes carry over nicely to the recorded works of Flourecent Grey. “Ambiente” is a three disk promo for what appears will actually be housed in a printed box with some small scale art prints as well. Spanning over three discs, and seven years,  “Ambiente”  is “all over the place” (in a good way)  from
“old school” minimal techno, to musique concrete, to dark drone to straight field recordings.
On Ambiente, Flourecent Gray explores a wide breath of sonic structures and conceptual possibilities through this tour de force of shuttering electronic environments;  Live “traditional” instrumentation, buzzing programmed synthesizers, distorted drones and sample based collage sections all have their own breath of life throughout this massive work.

Disk  one starts out the gate with slow breathing tones – a distant machine puttering along on its last legs grows closer and louder/  creating a nice ambient arch of rising shuttering, yet dissonant chords. The sound of  the sonic deconstruction  of cold, barren, shaking architecture.  slowly and subtly collapsing on itself, in perfect time
. the rhythmic structure starts to reveal itself and builds into a dense psychedelic
Array of choppy lazer like percussive beats, layered  synthesizers, and echoed, distorted vocals. Ambiente moves along subtly yet swiftly through more beat driven tracks of danceable yet complex electronic movements. At times
Noisy and at times sparse and theatrically minimal, Ambiente spans  a wide of pacing, intensity and dynamics- which can sometimes be a challenge with more beat driven electronic music – but Ambiente does a swell job of always keeping the listener guessing

. The overall slope of the peaks and troughs of “an album” in the traditional sense, are explored throughout the near three hour release, yet the work is so stretched out the listener really has to commit an intense listening session to gain the overall structural integrity of Ambiente as near three  hour work, rather than seprate works. To the artists credit, however Ambiente – does this very thing,  by giving life to a scope of sonic methods. Dark churning, chaotic, cacophonous stabs of sound   morph into minimal sections, raw single
Or tones-more, barely audible scrapes of sound movement swell and collapse, then bleed into  field recordings, ESP, spy style recordings, single instrument “solos”, playful yet sincere  foley artist samples slowly morph into more shuttering tones, voice, synth voices, and raw tones blended with a  blissful care give breath back to an empty dark echo chamber. Glowing sounds pulse through the eyelids giving birth to new pings of decay – a slow machine waking up throughout the mix, while possessing a similarly cold theme of a distant consciousness being resurrected through sonic transmissions.

, Ambiente,  At times, “loses” the listener in the traditional sense, yet perhAps that was part of the intent . The listener at that point, must  engage  into the realm of background sounds – unknown voices. A distant blurred yell ? At this point i was “lost” but it made sense .and I was unaware of what I was listening to and then i would become drawn in again. Maybe considering the length of this release .that momentary detachment from the work as a whole  isn’t the worst effect/affect.   The push and pull of presence and absence in the overall structure creates a subtle tension which works well

Over the three disks many different moods, structures. Pacings Methods are used. Not afraid to be self referential within its stylistic choices, Ambiente references early forms of “ambient” music as well as carving out its own sonic territory which comes off neither as redundant nor contrived, but rather fresh and arching across different sonic territories. Sometimes u can tell if your listening to futuristic consciousness sound alterations or distant transmissions from the past, a vast and interesting release overall, will be checking some other Flourescent Gray recordings in the future, as well
as works from the label, RecordLabelRecords

written by: malo