Ryan Unash, aka SHIKIMO, first found a passion for electronic music in 2010, when he was introduced to the music of Basshunter. A double bass player and pianist, he moved to music production in 2011, using FL Studio to create trance tracks. Later, SHIKIMO began experimenting with different sounds and genres, before developing his own blend of unique chill synthwave. Taking inspiration from nature, themes of space, weather, and landscapes largely inform the musical decisions of this talented producer.
This week’s Synchedin Spotlight, Stardust certainly evokes a strong sense of space and beauty. As you’d expect, an array of synth sounds kick off proceedings, with a bass synth creating a sturdy foundation for the track. More melodic synths, tubular and twinkling, begin to layer and build towards the dropping of the splashy retro drum beat.
Electronic drum fills, reminiscent of 80s pop, help to foster a strong sense of familiarity and almost comfort in Stardust. Video game soundtrack certainly springs to mind here, thanks to the consistent, driving beat. Constant movement and energy is created by the swirling and shimmering chimes and synth pads.
Just past the halfway mark, the layers fizz away into the distance, leaving only the sustained notes the track begins with. Until these too fade out, replaced by busy but simultaneously soothing chimes. An intensity is crisply and diligently built, owing to SHIKIMO’s honed production abilities.
We are dropped back into the full force of Stardust like a power-ball down a flight of stairs. All the electronic elements together make for a joyful and nostalgic listening experience. And it’s this feeling of nostalgia that we are left with as the track evaporates to a close.