photograph by Jelle Wagenaar
is the nom de guerre of New York City-based audio engineer and composer Dana Wachs. Vorhees embraces ambient form and pop structure in equal measure within her compositions. Live, her guitar tones are processed and extracted through a haze of vintage gear, conjuring dulcet riffs to aggressive, sneering fuzz over muted electronic beats. Her lyrics explore intimate observations with vocals alternating from alien to heartbreakingly human.
Dana studied cello and electric bass from an early age. At nineteen, she joined the Holy Rollers (Dischord) and dove deep into a world of touring and live sound. Audio engineering would define the following twenty years of her life while working at Greene Street Recording NYC and touring the world with St. Vincent, Grizzly Bear, and many others. In 2009, she debuted her solo compositions at Death By Audio on the evening of Alice Coltrane’s passing, a continuing spiritual and musical influence. From that performance, Dana continued to work on her own music, releasing her debut 7" The Orchard (Peoples Club, 2012), composing for modern dance, film, and commissioned performances and recordings for fashion designer Rachel Comey. Live performances during this time included support for Cat Power, Matmos, and Dum Dum Girls, invitations to perform at Basilica Soundscape 2013 and Iceland Airwaves 2014. Her methods have always relied on improvisation, whether in studio or on stage, forsaking formal education for a natural and visceral response to what inspires her.