When it comes to house music, it is definitely safe to say that Kaskade is one of the top DJs in the field today. His steady rise in popularity can easily be attributed to the quality and production of his work, successfully blurring the lines between savvy pop stylings and hard-hitting kinetic dance. With the success of such releases as Bring the Night and Strobelite Seduction, it is easy to see how his profile has risen such that he now attracts the attention of artists like Britney Spears and Lady Gaga and fellow DJs like deadmau5. While some may be content to continue with the status quo, Kaskade continues to push boundaries and this is reflected on his newest release of original material, aptly titled Dynasty.
An untradional Dynasty?
While Dynasty is not your traditional Kaskade album (in that it is a bit more glitzy and less distinctive than his past, more subdued and chilled efforts), it does resemble his recent work with deadmau5. Dynasty presents a collection of lush house tracks that are infused with vocal-laden melodies and addictive interludes, showcasing Kaskade’s shift in a new direction with more acoustic elements while maintaining his trademark sounds. This album does not lack for thrills and generates plenty of buzz on its own. With Dynasty styled like a typical Saturday night adventure, the beginnings of the journey begin in a more subdued fashion. While slowly working its way into your system and getting you ready for the ride ahead, it's a more relaxed offering from the DJ, and an almost humbling beginning that sets the scene as opposed to out-and-out flooring you. Dynasty reminds you just how versatile and creative Kaskade can be.
Lots of guests
Dynasty begins with the slow-burning, David Guetta-inspired "Start Again," which starts the album off in a intoxicating manner. After that, "Don't Stop Dancing" hits and then it's all over. Featuring longtime companion of the dance floor Haley Gibbs, Kaskade creates a swirl of synthesized strings, perfectly complimenting Haley's angelic and pixielike vocals. Haley re-appears on "Don't Wait," with a concise and simplistic beat that sees her mixing it up with wistful stabs of acoustic guitars and an overly ripe, melancholic sound. But when it comes to setting the dance floor on fire, no one really does it quite like Kaskade, as shown in full display with the amazing gem "Fire In Your New Shoes." “Fire in Your New Shoes” is a new wave electro-fantasy with imitation New Order guitar lines and vocals from the appropriately named Dragonette. Add the dreamy trance collaboration with Tiesto on “Only You,” plus the opener "Start Again," and you’ve got the dance floor-filling trilogy of key highlights with the bliss-inducing "To the Skies" and the pop-meets-microhouse “Call Out” bringing up the end. The main weakness of the album, though, is that the style here isn’t as distinctive as Kaskade's previous efforts and that the all-vocals affair could have been broken up with an instrumental or two. Overall, Kaskade still provides a winner.
Dynasty doesn't quite reach the levels of his previous works, but when stacked up against that impressive body of work it's easy to see why. It still does a more than admirable job of providing a great listening experience and intoxicating ride. Kaskade's latest offering shows no signs of him slowing down anytime soon, and while it doesn't break any epic ground, the collection of tracks here are still some of the most energetic and absorbing cuts to be heard since Kaskade last graced us with his appearance. If you want a fun and unique musical experience, then definitely check out Dynasty and see what the buzz on Kaskade is all about.
Released June 2009 on Ultra Records.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the record label. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.