Kaskade just doesn’t take a break. In the past year the man has seen several career milestones that many DJs only dream about–headlining the travelling Identity Festival, winning the title of America’s Best DJ according to the new DJ Times poll, and now his seventh album release. The hotly anticipated Fire & Ice marks Kaskade’s return to the studio, this time bringing along a bunch of very talented artists including Skrillex, Skylar Grey, The Neon Trees, as well as Kaskade favorites Haley and his own Late Night Alumni. But the talent isn’t the only great thing about the album, or should I say double album? Fire & Ice features two mixes of every track on the album: the Fire mix for the clubs, and the Ice mix for a more subdued listen at home.
Of course, it would be an injustice not to talk about the biggest track in the EDM game at the moment. Kaskade and Skrillex come together on Lick It (official video below), a track blending together the strobe-lit sound of Kaskade with the electro thrash that is Skrillex. Lick It sounds surprisingly old school in a way, yet modern in its own right. The kick is reminiscent of Kaskade’s Chicago house roots while Skrillex’s nu electro riffs manage to tear the roof off the track. The rest of Fire is also… well, fire! Notable tracks include Lessons in Love with Neon Trees, cand a beautifully composed house tune–Waste Love with Quadron. Perhaps my favorite track on the Fire disc is Kaskade’s collaboration with Skylar Grey, Room for Happiness. You might remember Skylar from one of the biggest tracks of the year–Coming Home. Skylar elevates the end of the first disc to soaring heights with beautifully performed lyrics and masterful production by Kaskade. There’s no doubt Room for Happiness is going to be one of the highlights of Fire & Ice in the coming months.
Ice picks up where Fire left off, with Kaskade personally remixing every song into a more laidback version of its former self. It’s not done in a cheesy manner as some might expect–Kaskade adds his touch to every song in a unique way. And, oh yeah, can you say Kaskade dubstep? That’s right; Kaskade tries his hand at dubstep in his Ice remix of Turn It Down. It starts out with a beat you might expect on a Late Night Alumni track, but then BAM. Quite an interesting surprise in the middle of an otherwise subdued song. What do you think of it?
There’s no doubt that Kaskade has created something truly special with this double disc album. Not many can say they compose as well as Mr. Raddon, let alone tweak their own songs and spin them on the dancefloor. As big of a year as 2011 has been for Kaskade, 2012 looks to be an even bigger year for him. We’ll just have to wait and see what he has in store for us next.