Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kaskade - Fire and Ice (2011) Album Review

Kaskade belongs to the masses now. Coming a long way from being a deep house impresario to a big beats producer, one can't be certain if what we hear in "Fire" is his way of signaling the crowd that he has completely abandoned his deep house roots. Or, on second thought, he may just be flexing his arena muscle - wondering how fast he could fill the dance floor and make ravers lose their minds to ear-piercing synths, jaw-dropping thick bass kicks (probably taking pointers from Deadmau5), and an endless stream of build-ups that eventually explode into a mass of syncopated synths and bass. Fire. And it burns.

Ah... what do we have here? "Ice"? So this is where he keeps his left-overs. Kidding aside, this mix explains a lot - the alienation generated from "Fire", for one. It's a friendly nudge that he hasn't really left his roots, he's actually just experimenting with the extremes of his new-found musical range, from all-out dance to lounge-like easy listening. For the latter, he decided to cram a soulful take on "Fire" in disc number 2 which kind of feels like The Calm: Part 2. At this point, you have to wonder why the album isn't called "Ice and Fire". Nuh-uh. Booty-shaking is top priority for Mr. Raddon apparently - and quite obviously so. As I said, Kaskade belongs to the masses now.

"Ice" also gives him an excuse to go insane in "Fire", purposely making the former more chill than your usual Kaskade deep house track to excuse the excesses of the latter. For as long as anyone has listened to Kaskade, we've never seen him create music this excessive- the synths particularly. An artist trying to transition whilst saving face? Who knows. For all we know this might be his way of bidding a final goodbye to deep house- but we'll just have to wait and see won't we?

- Dance, dance my child, dance!
- "Ice" caters to those wishing to just chill-out

- "Fire" can get too loud with ear-splitting synths (best left at the dance floor)

7 out of 10

PS: Can any of you distinguish Becky Jean Williams' voice from Mindy Gledhill's? Uncanny.