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Synthwave Single Review: Shikimo, “Stardust”


Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He’s passionate about music, art, and writing!


Shikimo’s music is a synth-driven exploration of the cosmos and “Stardust” is just another station on that sonic journey through the wonders and mysteries of the universe. This music is a refinement and evolution of the approach that he takes to crafting beautiful, ethereal synth music that acts as a transport for the mind into deep space.

One of the things that Shikimo has perfected in his work is creating delicate webs of synth sound that are shot through with a kind of lambent brightness. He accents those spun filaments of synth sound with a well of galactic-feeling bass and percussion that drives everything with a steady heartbeat. These webs of sound are definitely evident on “Stardust.”

What I also noticed about “Stardust” is that Shikimo’s production has become even better. The level of sound clarity and the balance of all of various sonic elements in the track is spot on and only enhances the impression of crystalline stars and velvet darkness behind them.

From out of the deep well of bass that “Stardust” begins with, a glistening synth melody begins to sparkle forth, gliding across the depths underneath it, it rises as the thump of the steady drum beat is joined by dancing, flying synths.

The track settles to extended floating synth notes over the spacious void underneath. Delicate chime-like synths dance through light notes before the drums kick again and we are carried in a fluttering, flowing journey across the galaxy. This track sparkles and shines, evoking thoughts of great space structures drifting by, again the solar wind flows as crunchier synths bring the track to an end.

The way in which Shikimo weaves the elements of his tracks seems to create music that is cohesive and firmly grounded while still allowing for flights across the universe driven by those bright, glowing synth sounds that evoke what makes outer space so majestic and exciting. “Stardust” is a refinement of what is already compelling music and I hope to hear his next album delving into even more of what makes his work so enjoyable.