September 4, 2013 -

Ryan Farber

Hailing from New Jersey, Ray Decker a.k.a. Kastra has been on the consistent rise for some time now, bringing along a tastefully energetic style of production to the table. Having had the pleasure of spinning with him at this past month's Bounce Boat, I got a change to see check out his bounce-influenced electro style firsthand, and I must say that it is an ever-growing popularity amongst those who love to move. Each track has a consistent energy that does not lull like certain genres that we are used to nowadays, yet instead presses on throughout the entirety of the track.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/103622961" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

First up on Kastra's 4-track EP is the single for which it was named, SPANK! This track wastes no time getting right to the point, with a high-pitched electro bend lead overlaying a heavy bounce bass similar to that being used in the ever-rising "Melbourne sound". The middle part of the song (which I previously declared as traditionally being a "lull") keeps the intensity going with sharp and clean synth stabs, following a simple progression that is intensified by a rolling percussive rhythm element. For some reason, I can't help but think of the most epic game of Super Smash Bros. ever when I heard this song. The energy is just that non-stop and intense.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/103622972" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Next up is Inside & Out, yet another upbeat and fast-paced track, starting out its melodic progression with a well-developed rhythmic breakbeat, immediately followed by the drop melody being filtered in. Think early trance drops, but with more attack and aggression. This track, although entirely different in its construction from track one, also provides a consistent forward progress, leaving the listener hungry for the next beat.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/103622977" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Track 3, Get On It, begins as one would expect a traditional club house track to begin, following well-attacked synth stab rolls similar to what one would hear on an EDX track or some similar. Yet, once again, Kastra throws us for a loop and brings in the intensity that makes this EP so fueled. Instead of what one would expect, a traditionally progressive continuation of the main theme, we are thrown into a heavily eletro-acid roll in the drop, with this nature continuing until the simplicity is brought back, with well-placed dissonances in the melodic. Genius.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/103622966" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Perhaps to be considered the most "simple" of these four songs, Reach The Sky by no means should be ignored. Although it does not follow the high energy of the first three tracks, the repetitive vocal sample of this track has a foundation of electro-bounce infused with an incredible nu-disco groove that will make you shuffle. Guaranteed. Think Daft Punk meets Michael Jackson, but with a lot more electro.

It is an understatement to say that Kastra has made an impact with this EP. SPANK! offers qualities of almost every electronic genre that is popular at this point in time, and it has all been done incredibly tastefully. After checking out this EP (which is available for free download, btw. He's cool like that.), I suggest that you find the next time that you can see him perform live, because the life he brings to his sets is even more energetic than the level of his productions, and that is hard to surpass. Ladies & gentlemen, Kastra.

BONUS: Kastra's Remix of "If I Lose Myself" Aired on Avicii's LE7ELS Podcast

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/102289031" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]


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