JOEL SHANAHAN “Frozen Clock Hovering” C84 (across 2xC60) (Ratskin Records)

Joel Shanahan has made quite the name for himself (Golden Donna, Auscultation, et al) peddling highly abstract and energetic electronica for a while now, but this project under his own Jah-given name is something else entirely and, if I may so myself, his best work to date!

Across 84 minutes, JS covers a TON of ground skirting the ambient electronica subgenres, with nervous drone-swells, competing/asynchronous synth hooks that fall in upon themselves into anti-pulse reverse-cascades, and a remarkably tasteful employment of Basinski/Cortini-an decay peppered throughout. 

While a few beats are scattered here & there, the overall feel of this beastly 2xCS is of a consensual haunting, a purposeful study of sci-fi horror in slow-motion, emotionally removed but for the viscous syrup between speakers and recipient earholes. Not party music. Not study music. Definitely melancholy art-makin’ jamz for days, though, & the whole thing sounds great both via headphones and mid-range stereo speakers, making it dynamic to the third power!

The art is also pretty fucking stellar here, with two purty yeller tapes snuggling up in the sleeping bag of a heat-resistant sparkly envelope that’s superglued to two esoteric b/w prints, each kissed with oil-spill-ish accent. Ratskin wasn’t fuckin’ around here ONE BIT!


—Jacob An Kittenplan