One of the most sobering things about The New Normal is how we’re all suffering in some way. Whether the fallout is physical, mental, or financial, it’s as if humanity itself is being tested, and left with no other option but to face this mess head-on and find a new path forward.
Joel Shanahan has been here before. Back on December 2, 2016, the Portland-based producer was set to DJ as Golden Donna at a secret Ghost Ship party when the Oakland space went up in flames and 36 people died, including some of Shanahan’s closest friends. At the time, he told Allison Geyer (a reporter at Madison’s Isthmus paper), “I’m alive [but] far from okay.”
Next Friday’s III LP doesn’t erase the past so much as process it, bringing Shanahan’s Auscultation project back from the brink at a time when we could all benefit from its murky dance melodies and bleary-eyed beats.
To help set the scene for Shanahan’s first 100% Silk full-length in four years, we asked him to share an exclusive mix for our Needle Exchange series. Here’s what he had to say about “The Stages of Acceptance”….
This mix is the result of digging through my tapes and CDs (and some files) for music that processes dread in different ways, as well as my own backlog of unreleased pieces and collaborations. A lot of it touches on sonic styles I’ve enjoyed immersing in lately: ‘ambient’ music that isn’t completely reliant on synth oscillators, overwhelming noise brutality, industrial wasteland tapestries, moody and nocturnal dance cuts, and surreally morose collage pieces. I also snuck in a clip from one of my obsessions: extremely low budget shot-on-video genre movies with the most mutant dialogue.
In some ways — and I’m probably projecting a bit here — all of this music feels like people attempting to process or combat general hopelessness and dread. Even in the clip from Surfer Dudes, these are probably just people who have wrung themselves dry chasing a career in cinema, and are trying to make the best of the situation. Maybe this is what everyone is trying to do.
Excerpt from the Motion Picture Surfer Dudes
Omei – When All Your Ghosts Are Tired
Wilson & Landy – 1
Daniel Menche – Where Language Ends
Stroma – Excerpt From Recollection Of Reconciliations
Flysch – Floating On A Rope
Secret Abuse – I Lie To You
Pacific 231 – Untitled
Golden Donna – Around My Throat
Sci Fi Sol – Screen Love
Proximal Distal – Colfax 4 A.M.
John Wiese & Daniel Menche – Behold the Scathing Light
Joel Shanahan – Excerpt From Microcassette Demos
Jack Or Jive – The Last X-Mas
Lunus – Lowpass End
Merzbow – Luxurious Automobile (Krokodil Texas Mix)
Pedestrian Deposit – Impartial
Aube – The Silent Light
S-Core – Giaour
Tricorn & Queue – Excerpt From Perennial Language Cassette
Golden Donna – Remote Idol
Piano Rain – Universal Bass
Vehscle – Untitled
Concern – Breaking Valor
BLEIE – The Sun
Joel Shanahan – Manual Delay
Stroma – Excerpt from Recollection Of Reconciliations
Journey Of Mind – Excerpt From Soma String