I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Shanahan, aka Golden Donna, aka Auscultation, aka Purpura, when he headlined a criminally underattended Scanners party with the homies Coralcola and DJ Won’t last year. He seemed like a very approachable, down to earth, nice midwestern fella. His set, on the other hand, sounded like something bursting forth from an alternate dimension entirely.
Those science fictional live synth excursions were epic in scope, but on his new 4-song EP for Atlanta’s CGI Records, Golden Donna takes a more minimal, small scale approach and pushes the beats to the forefront. The results are really, really, really good.
The A-side, especially the opening track, “Smirk,” features some of the grittiest, most industrial moments this project has given us yet, with rolling kick drums and waves of static to which you could straight-up headbang, if the mood were to strike. For my money though, “Secrets,” from the B-side, is the real standout. 7 minutes of dreamy, lush deep house. Try not to feel chills when that smooth as fuck diva vocal sample emerges at the five and a half minute mark. You can’t.
Over the course of these four songs, Shanahan offers up four completely different sides of himself without a weak link or a sense that the project lacks focus. He’s positioning himself as a force to be reckoned with in the coming year, and I look forward to hearing what he does next.
Seedy Approach is available now from CGI Records.