Review: Kaskade Reaches New Sound Terrain With ‘Atmosphere’ LP

Ryan Raddon, better known as Kaskade, has tapped and bottled a symphonic sanitizer for electronic dance music. The superstar DJ-producer, celebrated by an ever-expanding Gen EDM, releases his highly anticipated album, Atmosphere, today (September 10, 2013) on Ultra Music. Each one of the LP’s 13 tracks stray rather far from the sometimes sterile, often abrasive, repetitious synths and anvil-basslines found across the spectrum of today’s American dance music.

Opening track, “Last Chance,” which Kaskade co-produced alongside progressive house fast risers, Project 46, strikes on a visceral level. The lullaby vocals are sweetly coiled around feel-good backing tracks, and calls for multiple “rewinds” to gain optimal relishing of the tune. Raddon’s surprisingly down-tempo album remains in the slow and steady vain much of the LP. It’s not until title track, “Atmosphere,” oh which, Kaskade himself steps up to the mic and sings, that we find the song most akin to a ‘big-room’ anthem. The highly synthesized, “Take Your Mind Off,” is a robotic nod to the moment, followed up by a chorusing play on instrumentation in the classical-dance hybrid, “LAX to JFK.” It is at this time when listeners can fully see Kaskade’s unrelenting mission to keep a musical promise– stay soft and maintain the fun.

Dreamy-ethereal record, “Why Ask Why” with Late Night Alumni, Raddon’s other musical enterprise and band, uses looping key taps and angelic harmonies, fusing a supple but hyper-present shaker. When the bass enters the equation midway through, it makes for an aurally-pleasing marriage of sounds.

Raddon gets to the root of emotion with Atmosphere’s cardinal orchestra and sweeping melodies that summon the mature school of listener into his trance. The bonus– you won’t have to worry about an after-dance-music album migraine.

Cop Atmosphere on iTunes.