Caladan is the ultimate representation of a contemporary cultural mash-up. Barry Kantro, the musical mastermind behind Stimuli, found an old Casiotone keyboard at a thrift store and lo and behold he liked playing around with it so much he produced an entire album. This release was produced and mastered completely from the musician’s bedroom, showing the true capabilities of our current state of technology. The usage of the Casiotone gives a very vintage electro vibe that is from the 80’s and the style has recently been making a comeback. Listening to Stimuli I am reminded of other indie electro-wave bands like Trust, Kraftwerk, Light Asylum and Oppenheimer Analysis.
The opening song “Inertia,” begins with a flighty keyboard beat, and then the lyrics are introduced and bring a deeper dynamic to the song. There is a steady percussion that acts as the skeleton of the track and keeps you in-tuned throughout. The drawing out of several deep and then low piano tones give the listener something to hold on to as the song progresses.
The track that shares the same name as the album lets you dive into this wavy, electronic experience that is Kantro’s unique stimuli. “Stimuli” is defined by a wonky electro tune and some simple running percussions. Moreover, Kantro’s uber disco-esque voice adds to the very unique style of the track. I can see this playing in some urban disco lounge in Berlin where everyone is stuck in a perpetual state of the 80’s ending and the 90’s beginning.
Every track on Stimuli really gets under your skin, and stimulates your psyche, while also wanting to make you dance a bit. Even though this genre of music can be a bit dark at times, what makes it so unique is its duality and ability to be incredibly deep while maintaining a shallow demeanor of simply being upbeat dance music. Kantro should be commended for his innovation of such an instrument and his ability to create appealing contemporary electronic music. Stimuli will stimulate anyone into electronic indie music.
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