Kaskade’s latest LP, Atmosphere, lacks the excitement and boldness of his preceding double-album Fire & Ice, but does it’s namesake justice with tracks that engulf listeners in their moody vibes. He delivers on expected femme’d out tracks with vocal support from Becky Jean Williams on fist pumper’s favorite “Feeling the Night ,“ Late Night Alumni on trance-y “Why Ask Why,” and of course Haley on lighter raiser “Floating.”
But such tracks are a given, and the most memorable tunes manage to be the least presumed. Airport homage’s, “MIA to LAS,” “LAX to JFK” and “SFO to ORD” all go one deeper, incorporating garage, tech-y bass, and lounge elements to create dark and chill aura’s that would perfectly fit a modern day Skream set.
Even more curious is the orchestral “No One Knows Who We Are.” It’s a sad little tune and lacks any percussion, and Lights’ ‘made for big room’ vocals provide an impact that’s perhaps too loud to fit. But it holds consistent with the current trend big EDM acts are following as of late: breaking their mold.
The formula for making the Beatport top 100 has long been cracked, and smart producers like Avicii and Kaskade have realized that they are beyond chasing conventional hits at this point in their careers. Sure Atmosphere delivers on the big room anthems, but it also strips down, and beautiful tracks like “How it Is,” and "Something Something" can hardly be considered danceable. What these unconventional tracks lack in inspiring movement, they make up for in rousing the soul. Kaskade makes that connection forthright providing his own vocals for the first time on the beautifully composed title track.
While Atmosphere’s risks may not initially appeal to raver’s, it does them the favor of broadening their scope of sound; to look beyond the noise in EDM and seek the underlying heart in electronic music.
Stream Atmosphere free here.