Kaskade weighs in with universal composition and stellar songmanship for eighth album ‘Atmosphere’
Grammy nominated artist and producer Kaskade has more than served his time on the front line of electronic music. Whilst mainstream attention has often chosen to focus on his ability to shift tickets or vocal objections to the media’s predisposition towards his craft, the musical journey of Ryan Raddon has been untouchable by anyone of his generation, let alone today’s. Seven albums deep and as high in demand as ever before, the follow-up to 2011’s ‘Fire & Ice’ comes one decade down the line from his recently re-released debut album ‘It’s You, It’s Me.’ Where its predecessor offered two separate insights into Raddon’s conceptual composition, Atmosphere marks the first of his full-length offerings to bring both worlds under one roof. Luckily, the finished product is one that both the festival-going masses and those sitting on the fence of EDM advocacy are unlikely to shrug off.
In terms of familiarity, Atmosphere is no direct repetition of albums passed. Where its title track was immediately the public face of Kaskade’s return to full-length platform, the theme of songmanship is similarly turned to “No One Knows Who We Are” – this time in the form of a string and key led ballad of harrowing properties throughout. Eight albums deep and unlikely to be sporting much in the way of idle time, it would have been too easy to give fans what they already knew for this latest full-length offering.
Kaskade – No One Knows Who We Are (Kaskade’s Atmosphere Mix)
With a penchant for filling venues once unthinkable to electronic dance music, it is far too easy to forget how deep Raddon’s house roots trail. Between the likes of “MIA to LAS,” “LAX to JFK,” and “SFO to ORD,” a wealth of dimensions from his scattered musical heritage are re-aligned. Through the likes of “Last Chance,” “Feelin The Night” and the album’s widely renowned title track, those seeking the peak time flavours of Kaskade’s high-grossing live sets are still given their dues. Those who expected only this, however, clearly misread the menu. Without the over-egged themes of ‘RAM’ or the niche genre hallmarks of ‘Settle’, Atmosphere dares to show the mature and universal properties that our humble basement-originating genre can still turn to. Reassuringly, he does so with dignity, and the result is a fairly timeless body of music.
Kaskade – LAX to JFK
As a vivid and powerful songwriter throughout his career, Ryan Raddon has carried a reputation for finding all the right collaborators for his full-length attributes. For Atmosphere, Late Night Alumni and Haley remain welcome frequent flyers to Raddon’s musical escapades, with the addition of New York indie mob School of Seven Bells and Zip Zip Through The Night thickening the plot. Their influences range from glitch electronic pop to ungroomed indie rock, adding to the eclectic integrity many will have been relieved to find in place of wall-to-wall club tracks with the addition of pretty top lines. If ever you needed evidence that it doesn’t take A-list celebrities and hip hop personalities to sell quality electronic music in the 21st century, Kaskade seems to have caught the notion to rights.
Kaskade – Missing You (ft. School of Seven Bells)
At the final quarter of 2013 – a year dominated by landmark albums from the EDM community – Atmosphere is a welcome breath of fresh air to say the least. Part crossover record, part emotionally charged soundtrack, Kaskade bands his creative stamina and outspoken songsmanship to show that the age of EDM iconary need not be reduced to peak time club fuel. For a genre too often reduced to images of button-pushing and champagne shaking, This album dares to be different and luckily finds a compositional balance celebrating a love for music untainted by cultural undercurrents.