The "Atmosphere" producer also reflected on his journey to super stardom and said he looks forward to returning to the dancefloor. Let's start with the new music. Your latest project, Resetrecently dropped on Monstercat. I'm curious what your vision for this EP was. Wow, that's a big word.
I was really intrigued with how, I don't know, progressive-minded the label was. So, I reached out and became friends with them. And then, maybe two years ago, they came to me and were like, "We want to do something [with you] in the gaming space.
Are you interested in that? I'm like, "I love video games! Yeah, that would be super fun, and different. And so, the EP was a pretty collaborative effort in the fact that they were like, "Hey, we want it to fit in the game, and these are some of the different vibes.
I'll paint it as one of those silver linings of the pandemic. Typically, I'm doingshows a year, flipping out, and completely over-scheduled, and trying to find some kind of balance.
With more free time and more studio time, I've just been open to do things like this. Which I would have been, prior to this—I just think it would have been a lot harder to have that collaborative "What are you looking for? And it would be harder to sit down and really sink my teeth into it and wrap my head around the game and give my take on what I think would work when you're playing the game.
It was like, "Okay, what's cool and energetic, fun and light? How can that fit with my sound? How can I cater my style to that?
But certainly, the Monstercat people were all, "We love your classic sounding stuff. This is about as me as I can sound, but with a fresh take on it, a vibe to it. I want to talk a bit more about "Miles To Go," which I love. I feel like Ella Vos ' voice sounds euphoric but also urgent. What was it like working with her? Working with Ella was a dream.
She's equally as cool and amazing as her voice sounds. I didn't know her before this project. And honestly, we met on the back side of it. It all kind of happened in the cloud, out in space. True to the current state of affairs, it was a song that was sent to my manager.
He likes this style of vocal. She killed the performance! I wish I wrote this song. And instantly, when I heard it, I had some ideas on how I wanted to produce it. But yeah, her voice was already recorded—beautiful, pristine. And I loved her voice then, I was like, "Wow! Who is this? And actually, I sat on the track for quite a bit, because I was like, "There's a message here.
And one of the life lessons I've taken away from this whole thing is, maybe I don't need to be holding on to those things. I produced it up, sent it over to Monstercat. I was like, "Is this right [for Rocket League]? But that works. They didn't want one flavor. And what are some of the sonic elements that you brought in to "Miles To Go" to give it that classic Kaskade sound? Early on in my career, somewhere along the line, I decided that to set myself apart I wanted the electronic music I was making to be more about lyrics and melody.
Even on my first album It's You, It's Meit's almost 20 years old now, it's all about the songwriting. And that was my deal. I sat down and got in the studio with people who I thought were great songwriters and said, "I've been really testing my writing skills. I want to continue to push this boundary. I feel like dance music shouldn't be only just sound design.
I've always felt that something that resonates and goes beyond, and something you can leave a mark with, is where you take a cool message, these lyrics, and a strong melody, and marry that with something sonically interesting. It can be a global impact moment.
Dance music is always Touching In The Dark - Brooklyn Dreams - Sleepless Nights (Vinyl where my head's at. Dance music's always been about sonics. That's where we came from. Drum machines, synthesis, "I'm going to put this in a box, and stretch it, tweak it and freak it out, and make it sound like nothing you've ever heard before. I want more. A lot LP changed over the years, because 20, 25 years ago when I got into it, nobody was really writing songs and pitching them to dance music producers, because we were such a tiny little niche.
I think the biggest thing for me that's changed in the last five to seven years, with guys like David Guetta and Calvin Harris that were able to really crossover and conquer the pop charts, people were like, "Oh, that guy, Kaskade's called me before, maybe I should call him back? I grew up listening to disco because of my dad—he loves Diana Ross and all the iconic female vocalists.
And you were the first dance music I got into, back in college. Now, I definitely see the connection in your music to disco, especially as disco is the root of dance music. Let me take that one step further. When I really got into this initially, I grew up in suburban Chicago and most of those early house records were so—I mean, disco [had] just ended. In Chicago they're like, "No, we're still doing it.
We're going to call it something different though, because people are burning disco records at Comiskey Park. Okay cool, we're doing this in a warehouselet's call it house music. Those guys were so influenced by disco. And when I came up, all of those first wave of producers, they were borrowing [disco] as inspiration, and sampling, all of that stuff. Now, we don't do that so much because it's illegal.
But back then, there was a lot of stuff that wasn't figured out yet. He was cutting a lot of those old disco records up and making them sonically new. When I first got into it, I was imitating that. That led to a creative boom in electronic music. Disco's good. You're lucky you grew up in a house with it. I got a little bit of disco. They're amazing. Where did they live? I grew up listening to this stuff, it's a big deal for me.
I want to talk more about how you approached sound-tracking Rocket League. How was it different than when you're creating a song that will sound great at a festival or on the dancefloor? Well, when I go into the studio—it's a pretty selfish thing—I write songs for me, mainly. I like writing, and creating, and sitting down and messing around with sounds. How can you approach this?
I can totally see that working. It's that same mentality when I sat down to [work on Rocket League. What's going to work? How can I put my spin on this? It's something that's super energetic, fun, light, banging. So now, when you're in the lobby of the game and you're waiting to choose your car, it's banging and kind of hypes you up. It's the music in the background while you're playing, you want it vibey, cool, but still energetic.
Honestly, I think that's why the gamers in general listen to so much dance music. I get messages all the time on Twitter and Instagram, usually people who ask me to post more sets because they've listened to them at least 20 times each and have them totally memorized.
The hope for me was, and it's cool it's working this way, is that people turn off the game and they're like, "Man, I love that one track. What was the name of it? Oh, 'Miles To Go,' let me put that on. The industry can barely keep up. It's cool to see the young upstarts and the real savvy people out there figuring out that they can connect to people in different ways and different platforms.
What's your relationship to video games? Obviously, I see the old-school arcade games behind you, but did you grow up playing them? Do you still play them? I'm usually too busy, I don't get much gaming stuff in. But really, I still love the classics. I have some pinball machines in the other room. So, I love it all, I love gaming. But people are always like, "Dude, let me play you on Fortnite.
I suck. I'm like 20 hours into that. And speaking of Fortnite, your Fortnite concert happened on March How did you prepare for that? And what do you see as a positive of being able to do a show in a virtual space? That's a good question. I LP the challenge for me [is doing shorter sets]. Even festivals are hard for me. You have 67 minutes of performance time.
I came from the club world, and I'm used to playing two, three, four or five hours, and I feel really comfortable in that space. What's cool about the whole virtual thing, especially when it's such a whole production like this, is that it can be quite planned. I'm totally winging it a lot of my concerts. That's one of the things that's cool about electronic music, because you can go one night and listen to me and feel, "My gosh!
We were on the same wavelength. But some nights go better than others. But the Touching In The Dark - Brooklyn Dreams - Sleepless Nights (Vinyl space was cool because it was so thought out.
It's like, "Here's your time allotment. This is what we need to deliver. For the production of my shows, I'm very much a part of that process. And not that we get it right every time, we try to. For this, we're doing something much more rehearsed. We filmed the set, my goodness, over four days I'm going to say, conservatively, I did the set at least 30 times.
And that is no exaggeration. I was so sore at the end of it because I was jumping around. On the second day, they were like, "Bro, are you all right on energy? You need a Red Bull or something? It's like I did two months' worth of touring in four days.
That's crazy. Did you work with a VR team? Or how did you collaborate on the visuals and all that stuff? It's insane. Listen, we sent all my visuals in advance, and then I sent them a wish list of songs I wanted to play. We paired it down, got the visuals to sync up. And they started programming, a team of 50 people, when I showed up to film. This is massive undertaking.
Honestly, I felt like I was preparing to go on the road for a year-and-a-half on a global tour. It was huge. And they had prepped for six or eight weeks before I showed up to perform. The guys that produced it and put it together are incredibly talented. It's wild. It was way beyond the scope of what I understood until I showed up there.
During the streams that I've been doing during quarantine, I'm in my kitchen like, "Hey, I'm baking banana bread and playing some records. Tune in. I did one at the Grand Canyon, that was awesome, and obviously, that took a small staff of people to execute that. Music, Harmony and Rhythm. Sad Eyes. I Never Dreamed. Don't Fight the Feeling.
Another Night at the Tango. On the Corner. Street Dance. Baby You're the One. Old Fashioned Girl. Hollywood Circles. The latter song has been sampled over the years by various Hip hop artists. While the album was a modest a hit, the group gained public awareness via an appearance as "Professor La Plano and The Planotones" in the film American Hot Wax. Their sophomore effort Sleepless Nights was a greater commercial success for the group as it featured their musical collaboration with their label mate Summer.
Their own "Make It Last", however, did not improve on earlier chartings. Produced by Summer's recording engineer Juergen Koppers, but did not have the support of Casablanca, which was having a financial crisis, the album did not generate a chart single had a much more Euro dance sound. Casabalanca which distributed the band's label, Millennium had changed direction by with the demise of Disco with which it was closely related, and chairman Neil Bogart's departure.
As before, so again. Odes to perception, breath, and new worlds. Recent Toronto transplant Masahiro Takahashi spins seasonal software meditations and half-light lullabies from a wintry window, woven into a lush tapestry of hushed electronic landscapes: Flowering Tree, Distant Moon.
The latest cryptic devotional set by Newcastle, Australia duo Troth hovers at the threshold of this world and the next: Small Movements In Radiance. Equal parts hidden and heightened, dissipated and divine. Debut collection of ancient mesa psych by Buenos Aires head shadow burner Acid Twilight treads a darkening path through buried valleys and modal ritual.
Nomadic, torch-lit, and eternal. Interstitial illusions of spheres within spheres. East L. Supreme sunset soft-rock abstractions from the lost shores of Perth. Remote dreaming sophomore outing by Moscow synthesist Iguana Moonlight. Hyperreal fauna and bioluminescent lagoons Album) for innerspace circuitry. Tap in, tape up, trip out. Petersburg soviet synth adept X. Two windswept widescreen quests of midnight mecca mysticism, side-winding holy deserts of the mind.
Sydra slides through subterranean grottos and skyway crossings, luminous and nuanced, fleeting windows of reflection and rootlessness. Moscow Federation 4th worldist Alexander Sirenko aka Coral Club loops and layers fantasia terrariums of surreal wilderness on his debut, Nowhere Island. Music of lost isles, sunken jungles, and mosaic illusions, teeming with species unreal and unknown.
Pressed on gauzy galaxy vinyl. Our favorite Floridian enigma Wave Temples dusts off 2 sprawling archival tapestries of oceanic divination and cerulean drift for a visionary voyage to the Inner Keys: Tales From The Cymatic Abyss.
Commemorating a decade and a half in the NNF trenches with a sonic summer solstice trio of tapes spanning California, Copenhagen, and Russia. All 3 are figures who have been percolating through hidden discographical niches for years yet this is our first time working together. Subtle synthetic spiraling moods tracked in states of sleeplessness and solitude. Warm auras of light and low coasting clouds coalesce across innerspace landscapes of vibrational levitation.
Tap in and tap out. Another year fed to the shredder, another decade on the threshold of dust. Truest bluest thanks to all those who kept up, checked in, or touched base with this or any endangered musical ecosystem across Time and listenerships are dwindling resources — none are received lightly. Our final trio of tapes come from 3 artists on both sides of the Pacific, working in divergent electric modes. Immerse or investigate as curiosity strikes via the links below.
Tangible or intangible editions available herehereor here. Remastered with new artwork. Expansive modal archipelago meditations by Jungle Gym CEO Caleb Draves aka Dravierspanning surrealist exotica, narcotic new age, and desert island serenade. Peruse or purchase as inspired. Investigate FB for more accurate venue information:.
The Song That Didnt Rhyme - Alice Cooper (2) - The Eyes Of Alice Cooper (File, MP3, Album), Keep The Fires Burning (The Visa Treatment), My Girl - Determination* - Come Let Us Join Hands (CDr), That Girl Could Sing - Jackson Browne - Im Alive (CD), Check Yes Juliet (Run Baby Run) - We The Kings - We The Kings (CD, Album), O Paradiso - LAfricaine - Pavarotti* - The 50 Greatest Tracks (CD, Album), Live To Tell - Madonna - True Blue (Vinyl, LP, Album), Josephine - Shakin Stevens - The Hits & More! (CD, Album), Waffle Irons, Shampoos, And Blended Whiskeys, Take Me Where You Are (Radio Mix) - Fiori - Take Me Where You Are (CD)