After breaking into the scene in 2015 with debut offering ‘XXIV’ EP and gaining a mass following through featured performances at HARD Summer, Holy Ship and supporting Alison Wonderland, Golden Features (aka Tom Stell) brings forth his highly-anticipated album ‘SECT’ – a truly remarkable meeting of dark and deep house worlds that solidifies the signature sound we’ve all come to know from the Australian producer over the years.
If you ever needed the perfect 3 and a bit minute introductory track that will give you the perfect rundown for what you’ll be expecting for the rest of the album’s duration, Golden Features has achieved this in ‘Always’ with astonishing results. The track begins with an altered lower range vocal that injects serious amounts of fear into the soundscape, that builds very subtly through a sharp kick and snare pattern within the percussion. This crescendos into a breakdown filled with infectious movement and colour courtesy of the brooding bass and synth that showcases the trademark heavy electronica of Golden Features, as well as a ripened polish in the production levels.
The ominous feeling that surrounds the soundscape continues its momentum as ‘Medicate’ follows a similar composition to the previous track by leading listeners on a haunting direction from the word go. Projecting the vocals ‘Medicate/Separate’ with a soft and delicate approach that is mirrored within the percussion, the track takes a dark turn with the distorted vocals matching the intensity created within the swooping bass in true deep house fashion. This intensity correlates directly into ‘Runner’, which as the name suggests is cemented in a driving nature that is achieved through the arpeggiated synths. We see a heavy influence of probing bass that pierces through the mix in the pivotal climatic points of the piece, as well as a clever moment of reprieve in the middle parts of the track that showcase a raw moment with the restrained vocals that act as a centrepiece combined with the alluring synths that help cohesively rebuild the track to its high-octane roots.
One of the clear standouts in ‘SECT’ lies within the highly popular ‘Falling Out’. Through its buzzing sensation created in the bass and synth, as well as the emphatic percussion, we see a phenomenal foundation laid for the contagious melodies to stand on top of. Whilst the delivery of the vocals showcase tremendous power, the crisp production on display showcases an effortless nature that leaves you in awe of what’s in front of you. Speaking of impressive vocal offerings, ‘Woodcut’ sees Rromarin hit centre stage and carry the emotional context of the track immediately, and is only heightened further through the lowered harmonies creating significant depth in the piece. In ‘Woodcut’, we see Golden Features showcase a more stripped back instrumentation as compared to previous tracks, yet the carefully selected instruments all achieve that critical cohesion which elevates the mix subtly.
Golden Features continues to change things up as we progress through this album, and this becomes evident in ‘Pyre’, an intermission that showcases an experimental side of the producer’s artillery. Through utilising a rising arpeggio in the keys which combines with shifting nature between deep and penetrating bass, ‘Pyre’ achieves the right amount of suspense that keeps you on your toes and builds your suspense just in time for the deep house banger that is ‘Renewal’. A real treat that is hidden within the track listing, ‘Renewal’ carries a lot of character that is achieved through the bouncy natured bass, the playful percussion that bleeds the perfect club vibe and the piercing synths that stab in and out of the mix. When combined, this results in the perfect club track to get you up and about.
If you require the party to keep on going, Golden Features has you covered with recent fan favourite ‘Worship’, and it’s not hard to see why. The effortless nature of the vocals ‘I wanna worship’ combining with the lively synths, vivacious percussion and the contrasting deep house momentary breakdowns sees a sensational meeting of two worlds that highlights a well-rounded comfortability within one’s production.
The final two tracks of the album, ‘Everything’ and ‘1991’, act as the perfect podium for Golden Features to showcase his expertise within his artillery. In ‘Everything’, we see a fast-paced journey full of drive that is achieved through the lively percussion and distorted bass carrying significant groove within. ‘1991’ rounds out the album through a gripping tale full of suspense, with a significant level of depth in the mix creating a horror soundscape that leaves listeners on their toes wanting more.
‘SECT’ is out now and fans can catch Golden Features on his upcoming Australian tour, dates below.
Buy/Stream: Warner Brothers Music Australia