Kaskade talks new ‘Destinations’ compilation series, the translation of a place into a sound, and plans for upcoming spotlight cities [Q&A]
If a specific place could be translated to sound, then just what might that place sound like? Kaskade envisions an answer to this question on his latest project, Destinations: Tulum, the inaugural installment in the producer’s newly conceived Destinations compilation series. Destinations: Tulum debuted on Kaskade’s Arkade imprint in August. The production sought to embody the spirit of Tulum, crafting a sensory listening experience emblematic of the distinctive personality and aesthetic of Mexico’s coastal getaway spot.
The project’s 18 tracks, hand selected by Kaskade, comprise the first edition of the newly minted series and befit both the character of Tulum, and the larger vision of the Destinations concept. Kaskade describes the actualized product as the result of, “traveling the world and becoming emotionally attached to different locations.” Dancing Astronaut caught up with Kaskade just before his main stage set at Electric Zoo‘s tenth anniversary edition in September to chat about the veteran producer’s newly emerging series.
The first installment of Destinations is out on Arkade and it’s a hefty offering. 18 tracks really gives you a breadth with which to recreate that sensory experience of ‘walking through the town’ or ‘sitting on the beach’ as you’d stated was your objective.
Kaskade: Sounds like you listened to it!
It’s a really dynamic concept. When it comes to translating a place through sound, I’m imagining that the song selection process is different for each compilation. So what were you specifically looking for when it came to choosing the tracks for Destinations: Tulum?
I think I was just trying to capture the mood of that. I’ve been to Tulum, I’ve visited Mexico many, many times, and I came up with the idea for the compilation while sitting in Tulum in a cool café which I don’t know the name of, and they had this DJ playing this really chic, cool music, and in my head it sounded like what’s on the compilation now. It’s been a few years, so I don’t know if it’s actually like that, but it paints a picture in your head. It was this really laidback and chill groove, and I’m sitting at the beach drinking lemonade with my family, and hanging out and I was like, ‘this is amazing,’ and I think the idea for the compilation was just to kind of capture that moment.”
But even if it’s changed you crystallized and froze that moment in time. What is it about these locations — Tulum being the first — that make them canvases for upcoming editions of the series?
I kind of have this theory, and a lot of people agree with me, that you’re inspired by what you’re surrounded with, right? People, places, things, food, you know, family, whatever is happening around you. I think the idea for the compilation is just to have moments, sonic moments, that kind of weave this tapestry and make for something memorable. Then later you’re like, ‘oh my gosh yes, this reminds me of this time I went here or when I went there,’ so yeah I started with Tulum, and we’ll see what comes next, I haven’t started on the next one yet.
So you’re kind of making it up as you go.
Producers are reaching out to me and being like ‘dude, Iceland should be next,’ all these cool places that people want to travel and see and I’m like take it easy! You know, like let’s get the first one out. People have been really receptive to the idea, and other producers who want to contribute. Yeah, I don’t have a place chosen yet, but I have a short list going.
Your Chicago roots — might they lead to a Destinations: Chicago compilation?
There definitely should be a Destinations: Chicago, for sure. 100 percent that needs to happen.
Your Redux shows provide a really intimate and immersive live experience. Destinations seems like it could expand and really lend itself well to a live experience, maybe in a similarly intimate style.
That’s the idea, I hope it grows and expands and people are open minded and want to listen to different locations and what they might sound like, all through the filter of my brain. I’m here letting it unravel and seeing where it takes me.
On the subject of travel, what is your absolute, number one go-to travel essential, the one item you can’t travel without, however general or unusual it might be?
I carry a beanie whether its summer or winter, it doesn’t matter. I travel with those compression socks, it’s kind of a unique thing since everyone else is going to say the same thing, iPhone whatever. But I travel with compression socks, I started doing that before it was cool because now everyone makes compression socks, Nike makes them, Stance, I travel with Stance compression socks since I like them a lot.
While Kaskade returns to the studio to plan the next stop on his musical itinerary, listeners can stream Destinations: Tulum sans jet lag and compression socks here.
Photo Credit: Rukes