The playboy of high-fashion house music is back with his seventh full-length album, Dynasty, and it certainly does say something about his posterity. The Chicago-based producer, whose true name is Ryan Raddon, has pumped out 12 very infectious dance anthems, a few of which are quite good. Featuring the vocal talents of Martina Sobara from Dragonette, the song “Fire In Your New Shoes” adds an entirely retro, almost analog-inspired style of electronic music, not to mention a refreshing Canadian flavour to the mix. With the help of Haley, Kaskade’s go-to vocalist, the song “Don’t Stop Dancing” sounds a lot like “I Remember” from his last offering, but with a heightened appreciation of the female voice. It would be remiss not to mention “Only You,” a collaborative piece with Tiesto and Haley. It’s the heaviest, darkest, most atmospheric piece on the album, breaking out experimental glitches and electronic burps, which is something uncommon in Kaskade and Tiesto’s work. Despite the borderline-unpleasant aesthetic of the bright pink and gold CD packaging, the album is successful in all the ways that count, and particularly for an artist who’s been on the road constantly, Dynasty must have been an ambitious project.
As many anti-Olympic Vancouverites feel the clock ticking before the games hit the fan, there’s some goodness to look forward to.
Canadian superstar DJ Deadmau5 (a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) will be playing a free show on Feb. 19 at LiveCity Yaletown. Info is here. I’m going to be there harder and faster than any of you could imagine. Oh yes.
Check out the video for “I Remember,” a collaborative track with Kaskade, another notable talent in the pop dance music scene.
The tail end of the summer offered little promise as I was spending all of my time in front of the computer, but getting very little done. It had something to do with True Blood, Rod Serling from the Twilight Zone (original), Mad Men and Big Love. I’m not ashamed anymore.
On September 20th, I’ll be covering the Arctic Monkeys show at the Malkin Bowl in beautiful Stanley Park. A tidy review should quickly ensue.
Friday October 2nd will see us some beautiful (and rather bizarre) images of our good friend Deadmau5, an award-nominated DJ currently enjoying fame on the radio waves with his song “Move for Me” which was made in collaboration with Kaskade, another premium spin doktor. Can you say big mouse outfit?
Polaris prize-nominee Chad Vangaalen is gracing the Biltmore Cabaret on October 2, and I promise to capture the haunting expression he’ll have when he sings “Molten Light,” god willing he will play that eerie tune.
I’m also working on getting some face time with Matthew Good, so I’ll keep you posted on any developments that way. He’s playing at the ritzy Centre for Performing Arts, with opening band Mother Mother, who you should all know and love by now…
May 29, 2009
DJ extraordinaire Ryan Raddon, aka Kaskade, knows how to make people dance. The Chicago-born DJ/ producer for Ultra Records vamped up his newest full-length album The Grand, also playing a full and varied set-list touching on his entire six-album discography. In collaboration with Deadmau5, Kaskade showed an unmatched lust for life with the song “Move for Me,” which hit number one on the Billboard Dance Chart and stayed there for two weeks. Silver tinsel confetti streamed from the stage during “Devil On My Shoulder,” topping up the excitement of the well-sweaty dance floor.
Raddon’s style is cultivated, seasoned, and smoother than velvet. Most DJs sound great on vinyl but when push comes to shove, the live set can be difficult to deliver with the same finesse. Kaskade spins out some of the fattest, electrifying mixes, but his masterful technique of the turntables makes it seem easy through his laid-back, unaffected, and coy style. While the Commodore was built in the 1920s and is considered a testament to old-school Vancouver history, it was decked out with huge screens playing choppy-styled stills of human outlines doing mundane things, the lights and bass lines throbbing to his deep house anthems. With Kaskade smiling, spinning between the screens, it made the whole universe seem a little less unmerciful and gave it a little more meaning.