Dancing Astronaut’s Time Capsules: Kaskade
Dancing Astronaut's Time Capsules: Kaskade
Kaskade’s story is different from most. Ryan Raddon grew up in Northbrook, a Chicago suburb, with a love for club music but the lifestyle habits rarely appreciated in the dance music sphere. He is a Mormon, and once told the NY Times of his fellow Mormons’ fear that he is “promoting that lifestyle and that culture.” Ryan’s response? “No, man, I’m not. Listen to my music.”
These words alone encapsulate Kaskade’s mission and purpose as a timeless DJ and producer.
1995 was the year that Ryan got his foot in the door, but it wasn’t until 2003 when OM Records released his debut album, It’s You, It’s Me, that he had his big break. Ten years later, Raddon tipped his hat to the album that led him along the undoubtedly winding, but rewarding, path toward prosperity. But most importantly, he was able to display his music during that journey. This is Kaskade.
Kaskade feat. Bret Garner - Steppin Out (Original Mix)
Diehard Kaskade fans still find themselves in shock when listening to his older work, which is much deeper than his later records off of Fire & Ice and Atmosphere. While it seems that Ryan has been producing big room progressive house since the beginning of time, this perception could not be farther from the truth. “Steppin’ Out” marked Kaskade’s first top 10 single, hitting No. 5 on Billboard Magazine’s Hot Dance Club Play chart and No. 6 on Dance Radio Airplay. Not to mention, then-in demand Abercrombie & Fitch caught on to Ryan’s talent early on when the beachy track landed on its 2004 playlist.
Kaskade feat. Joslyn - Sweet Love (Original Mix)
Joslyn’s willowy topline seamlessly brushes against Kaskade’s use of delicate hi-hats and guitar rifts to create the fifth track off of his 2004 album, In The Moment. The vocal aesthetic of “Sweet Love” is suggestive of deep house’s shift in emphasis from melody to the current obsession with heavy basslines. One might recall last year when Kaskade released his Redux EP, in which he stripped “Sweet Love” of its ethereal qualities and refined the track with a minimized framework. Though house music’s trends have evolved in the past decade, it is difficult to forget “Sweet Love’s” melody-dominated roots.
Kaskade feat. Joslyn - Everything (Original Mix)
Kaskade continues to touch the lives of many with modernized hits like “Eyes,” “Room For Happiness” and “Dynasty, but his rich library tracing back to the early-to-mid-2000s cannot be overlooked. Though its structure is reminiscent of “Steppin’ Out,” “Everything” is a gold mine in its own right. Ranking No. 4 on Billboard Magazine’s Hot Dance Club Play, Kaskade’s chilled-out, euphoric vibe strongly resonates with his earlier discography. As “Everything” grows stronger with age, we fondly look back at Ryan’s repertoire of tunes from the mid-2000’s as one that set the precedent for the next generation of electronic music.
Kaskade feat. Sunsun - Be Still (Original Mix)
2006. The year that Kaskade jumped ship and left OM in favor of a more fitting Ultra Records. Love Mysterious served as Ryan’s fourth solo album, and his first major project signed to a new label – the catalyst of a major fluctuation in his musical style. In enlisting the talents of American singer-songwriter, Sunsun, “Be Still” acted as the performer’s plunge into the dance music community. Years later, she re-appeared as the featured vocalist for tracks like “Back On You,” “Raining” and “I’ll Never Dream.”
Kaskade feat. Becky Jean Williams - 4 AM (Original Mix)
Popularly remixed by Adam K and Soha, “4 AM” has grown to be one of Kaskade’s better known tracks from his early days. Becky Jean Williams, who plays an integral role in Late Night Alumni, took on vocal duties for the soothing track that has become a staple in Ryan’s discography and beyond. So much so that “4 AM” was featured in Grand Theft Auto V on the video game’s fictional radio station, “FlyLo FM.”
Kaskade & Deadmau5 VS. Michael Woods - Move For First Aid (Kaskade Mash Up)
It is far too easy to damage what could have been a quality mashup. Aside from his innate ability to recruit quality vocal talent, Kaskade is also known for his magic touch when it comes to mashups, which compose a large portion of his music collection. Arguably his strongest to date, “Move For First Aid” captures the infectious energy of his collaboration with deadmau5, “Move For Me,” and Michael Woods’ “First Aid.” Hand-crafted especially for Beyond Wonderland 2011, this “Festival Style Mayhem” became the mashup of all mashups, delivered at festivals and in clubs for months following its release.
Kaskade feat. Tamra - Angel On My Shoulder (Original Mix)
“I have an angel on my shoulder but a devil in my head.” Not only was “Angel On My Shoulder” a hit in clubland, but also in the mainstream radio when Irish singer-songwriter Tamra Keenan was called upon to assist with its production. The track followed suit with “Move For Me” and “I Remember” – each of which landed on Kaskade’s fifth and most progressive album to date (at the time), Strobelite Seduction. 2008 was an exciting period as it marked the first time Raddon had collaborated with another major artist, deadmau5, and departed from the mellower realm of electronic music. EDX’s highly successful remix of “Angel On My Shoulder” set the tone for their future collaboration, “Don’t Stop Dancing.”
Kaskade & Adam K feat. Sunsun- Raining (Original Mix)
In 2011, Kaskade opened both his Essential Mix and Identity Festival set with “Raining,” a collaboration between him and Canadian producer Adam K. It was during this time that Sunsun made her noble return, helping to outline a more familiar style that fits Raddon’s present-day image. While he continues to stay true to the vocal elements that set him apart from most, “Raining” was an unapologetic shift from his old-school style. Strobelite Seduction hinted at change, but it wasn’t until “Raining” and, subsequently, Dynasty, that fans knew Kaskade was not to be pigeonholed as merely a house music act. “Raining” hits close to home, flaunting a similar body to later progressive house efforts “Turn It Down,” “Lessons In Love” and “Atmosphere.”
Kaskade feat. Dragonette - Fire in Your New Shoes (Original Mix)
Simple, yet solid: “Fire In Your New Shoes” required four writers (Ryan Raddon, Finn Bjarnson, Mark Phillips and Martina Sobara) and two producers (Ryan Raddon and Finn Bjarnson) to complete. Best known for working with Martin Solveig, Dragonette was an effortless choice for Kaskade when producing Dynasty’s second single. Famously remixed by Sultan & Ned Shepard and transformed into a house anthem, “Fire In Your New Shoes” gained even greater leverage after being featured in episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles, The Vampire Diaries and Criminal Minds. Popular culture nods in approval of this timeless Kaskade classic.