Au­to­matic Kaskade Warner

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tim McNa­mara

Amer­i­can DJ-pro­ducer Kaskade has had no qualms about hitch­ing his mu­si­cal wagon to the me­te­oric rise of elec­tronic dance mu­sic.

Known early in his ca­reer for vo­cal deep house clas­sics such as It’s You It’s Me, show­cased on San Fran­cisco’s OM Records, sub­se­quent ma­jor la­bel deals with Ul­tra and Warner have seen Ryan Rad­don move to­wards a more synth-heavy, pop-tinged elec­tronic sound. His ninth al­bum and fol­low-up to 2013’s At­mos­phere is aimed pre­dom­i­nantly at the fes­ti­val, sta­dium and Las Ve­gas mega­club set where he’s most rel­e­vant to­day.

While there are a few qual­ity house tunes rem­i­nis­cent of the pro­ducer’s ear­lier out­put scat­tered through­out, they’re over­shad­owed by main-stage of­fer­ings marked by big builds, fe­ro­cious drops, sug­ary vo­cals and not much be­tween. Opener We Don’t Stop is no­table mostly for Rad­don’s own up­lift­ing vo­cal, which takes poll po­si­tion among build­ing drums, eerie strings and a me­an­der­ing synth. Mercy is per­haps most demon­stra­tive of the EDM lean­ings of much of Au­to­matic.

More en­joy­able are tracks where Rad­don chan­nels his house roots. Day Trip­pin is an al­bum stand­out, a sunny and melodic, pi­ano-led house bumper, made all the more ap­peal­ing through the vo­cal of Bri­tish Grammy win­ner Estelle.

There’s no deny­ing Kaskade’s tal­ent; mul­ti­ple Grammy nom­i­na­tions speak vol­umes about what he has ac­com­plished. One won­ders, how­ever, how much of Au­to­matic will have rel­e­vance 10 years from now. It’s an al­bum very much for the now.

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