Words by Brielle Cotelo

Ryan Raddon, known as Kaskade, has been making his name known in the EDM scene this past decade with his signature sound of beautiful melodies behind soft vocals and distinct electronic tracks. Growing up in Chicago, Kaskade was influenced by new wave bands such as The Smiths and The Cure, but was captivated by the melodies and vocals in the House music that was being born in his city. Kaskade kept his love for music and passion for House relevant in his life, constantly exposing himself to new styles by spinning all throughout college, which led him to begin working on his own music. He put out a bunch of singles and EPs, but it wasn’t until 2011 where he came out with the album Fire & Ice which had 9 top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart. Now on September 10th, Kaskade released his highly anticipated follow-up album, Atmosphere.

Throughout the LP, Kaskade keeps the spirit of his previous album, Fire & Ice, alive by having a variety of tracks from upbeat (fire) to lower energy but just as beautiful ‘ice’ tracks. Regardless the tempo, you will find yourself either bouncing or singing to the multiple sounds that send you on a musical journey that you won’t want to end.

He begins his album with the fire track, “Last Chance.” The symphony of the synths over powers bass line of the song but is balanced out with light female vocals to help move you throughout all the dramatic changes. Definitely a great way to kick off his record, instantly getting you pumped up for more.

Kaskade keeps the energy going with “Why ask Why.” Although the title suggests otherwise, I see no reason in questioning his choice of doing so. The dramatically heart-filled lyrics “I made a list/ I’m all packed up/ I’m ready to go/ here’s my last stop/ I’ll soon be far away/ you can watch me go or you can change your mind/ and be with me on the road” suggest leaving someone for some time. Perhaps a more personal song for the DJ exposing the downside of pursuing what he loves. However, the emotion of the song is felt by the audience, making a beautiful connection.

Keeping the fire hot, he follows up with “MIA to LAS” it is the first of the trio of air flight songs that he has included in the album. This sexy, thick house track will have anyone feeling like they should be strutting their stuff on the catwalk they made up in their mind.

Kaskade then introduces a little ice to cool us down from the heat with his song, ‘No One Knows Who We Are’. This stripped down version of the song is composed of the familiar beautiful piano rift, cellos, violins and the voice of the singer, Lights. The lyrics “No one knows who we are/No one gave us a mark” tugs on the heart strings of any listener. Between all these components, the song enamors the ear of all that are pulled in by its elegance.

Teasing his audience, the DJ shared the album’s title track, ‘Atmosphere’, prior the album release, and it successfully got his audience excited for what was to come. Pushing his musical talents, Kaskade not only was the mastermind behind the energy pumping beat, but he also took on the role of the vocalist in this track. From the somber piano melody in the beginning of the track to the incredible upbeat body, it is a complete masterpiece.

If you are into House music or not, Kaskade is an artist who explored all musical outlets and shared the experience with us, and his work deserves attention from all listeners. Atmosphere is made up of components that anyone will find beyond enjoyable. The songs each have a backstory and you can feel it throughout the music. Whether it be the travel from airport to airport or the bitterness that comes along with pursuing your dream, there is no mistaking that each track is personable to the artist, therefore we feel that too. Enchanted by the endless stream of emotion you will experience, I guarantee this is an album you will listen to daily.

Ultra Records
© September 10th, 2013



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