Stereo Image | S/T
Most Likely To: make you see double and like it.
On Stereo Image’s nearly self-titled debut S/T, Johnny Dark (ex-Junior Boys) joins with house singer San Serac (née Nat Rabb) to make grooving, synthetic melodies – what the duo call “syncussion” – that belie their sleepy Hamilton, Ontario origins. Stereo Image shares its name with an optical illusion where a pair of identical two-dimensional pictures appears three-dimensional when viewed together, as with a Viewmaster. And just as a stereo images makes 2-D seem 3-D, Stereo Image sounds like it was created by more than two people.
Stereo Image begins with “Pack Moves,” whose ebullient melody offers a perfect counterpoint to the peaks and troughs of the bass line. In contrast, “Strange Life” is toned-down, worming its way into the psyche thanks to a bleepy-bloopy keyboard line. “Double Mirror” picks up the image replication theme from the band’s name. Definitely created for introverts who like to dance, Stereo Image feeds the body’s limbic system by creating intuitive music that addresses memory, the fight or flight reflex, and arousal. The only downside is that, at times, Stereo Image turns so inward that it creates a mental vortex as powerful as quicksand.
Fortunately Serac’s Bowie-esque vocals unify the record, and before they dig their own hole, listeners should heed his advice from “Red Nights” and remember that “No sad sack DJ’s ever gonna bring us down.” Though it is not the only spooky element, the record ends with “Clamoring” a near instrumental that has creepy keyboards, making the song a perfect choice for a Halloween party soundtrack.
Listen to “Pack Moves” from Stereo Image: