Wednesday , February 28 2024
Melding witty pop nuances into his core bag of DJ magic, nightlife's reigning majesty strikes again.

Music Review: Kaskade – Dynasty

Kaskade As he continues to remix Lady Gaga and Britney Spears hits for the dancefloor, clubland mogul Ryan Raddon –aka Kaskade– releases his ninth album of original productions. The gainfully employed DJ and songwriter stirs potent hints of pop savvy into an already flourishing brew of kinetic flavors on Dynasty, preserving his infrastructure while christening some new elements.

Although the opening “Start Again” lacks the absolutism one would expect to launch such a loftily titled set, any fears of an overthrow are quickly assuaged with the masterfully serene “Don’t Stop Dancing.” As the beats tick steadily, Kaskade’s longtime vocal empress, Haley Gibby, lushly conveys the song’s message of inner spirit and perseverance. It’s one of five selections featuring Gibby, who sang on recent hits “I Remember” and “So Far Away.” The centerpiece is the beautifully phrased “Don’t Wait.” Swirls of synthesized strings complement cool stabs of acoustic guitar, as the singer reassuringly coaxes: “Don’t wait to take what’s there and make it what you want. All that you need, you have. It’s right there in your heart.” It’s this decade’s dance-music lullaby.

Elsewhere in the regime, the feisty “Fire in Your New Shoes” gets the party started with zaps of rock guitar and the magnetizing delivery of Dragonette, who entices her subject with, “Will I light a fire in your new shoes? Look out that your soles don’t burn to the floor.” This anthem has more spunk and individuality than the title track first single, as do the drop-in and -out structure of “Call Out” and the refined vibrance of “Human Reactor.”

All and all, Dynasty is a mellifluous collection of energetic ambulation, designed for equal-parts functioning in the ears, feet, and nervous system.

Check out Kaskade on MySpace Music to hear songs from Dynasty.

About Justin Kantor

Justin Kantor is a music journalist with a passion for in-depth artist interviews and reviews. Most of his interviews for Blogcritics can be heard on his Blog Talk Radio program, "Rhythmic Talk." Justin's work has been published in Wax Poetics, The All-Music Guide, and A graduate of Berklee College of Music's Music Business and Management program, he honed his writing chops as a teenager—publishing "The Hip Key" magazine from 1992-1996. The publication, which was created out of his childhood home in Virginia Beach, reached a circulation of 10,000 by the time he was 16. At Berklee, Justin continued to perfect his craft with a series of 'Underrated Soul' features for The Groove from 1997-2003. This led to a companion TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network in 2002, as well as writing for the national Dance Music Authority (DMA). A self-described "obscure pop, dance, and R&B junkie," Justin also has penned liner notes for reissue labels such as Edsel Records and FunkyTownGrooves. He's excited to be a part of the BlogCritics team and indulge his musical fancies even further. Connect with him at his Facebook page, or via [email protected].

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