Kaskade Is The American Champion Of Modern Dance Music.

(A month or two ago, I was given the honor of writing a long-form article about my favorite homegrown EDM DJ. Kaskade is an American hero. Peep the article and show some love to EDMTunes, who keep letting me yammer on about stuff that I love.)Kaskade - EDM

I was sitting there listening to MIA to LAS (a personal favorite off Kaskade’s Atmosphere), reading about all of his music disappearing from Soundcloud when it struck me. Kaskade is one of the only producers in the industry besides maybe deadmau5 who really gets it.  Soundcloud has been bent over a table by the labels when it comes to takedown notices, even when the original creators (i.e. Kaskade and 50,000 other DJs) want them to be available. While I’ve given it up to deadmau5 here before, I wanted to take time to write a love letter to Kaskade. He, in my mind, embodies the absolute best in American dance music, much more than just being America’s Best DJ (which, he totally won last year if you forgot). Not only has he been innovating both sides of the house coin, progressive & deep, but his embrace of the exploding dance music culture in the USA over the last 5 years deserves massive respect. His recent Redux 2014 tour is astonishing and he’s working on more crazy stuff in addition to ways to get his music to his fans directly.

While he grew up in Chicago, he attended university Utah. He took a break from spinning records to serve two years on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan. That’s right, he served as a missionary bringing His word to the people in Japan, before Kaskade was ever a thing. After being inspired by a waterfall, he thought maybe “cascade” sounded good, so he got to work.  In 2003, “It’s You It’s Me” with the debut album pushed out, creating an amazing, smooth sound that was signature then, even though we had no idea how far he’d go. Or perhaps you did, and I tip my hat to you, EDM hipster 😀

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America Fuck Yea Tour: Philadelphia, The Glitch Mob & Bailey

As the sunset cutting an orange, pink & purple tear in the afternoon sky, I sipped from the excessively large can of Miller Lite I’d purchased at Penn Station while amusing myself on Twitter. I was on the train to Philadelphia to see some old friends and watch some music I couldn’t find anywhere in NYC. Not only was The Glitch Mob in town on Friday, but Bailey was pushing out some dirty drum & bass on Saturday. The weekend looked to be quite epic and by the time I arrived at my friend’s house, homemade chicken wings and cheap beer were waiting for me. I told you my friends take care of me.

The Electric Factory was packed, both floors, and the bandshell still covered. To note, Philly had come strong and was waiting to tear it up. Then, as we took the first sips of our drinks, they came out, the crowd erupted & they got to work. Starting with Mind of a Beast, the debut track off their recently launched album. They played it. Live. To explain, check out these pictures by my amazing friend Michael Gonzalez.

Their set up was an amalgam of pressure sensitive pads that look like they came off the bridge of the Defiant from DS9 or a Cylon raider. There was a heavy set of drums surrounding them all, and boy did those things glow. The trio of Ooah, Boreta & ediT proceeded to bang out one of the best shows I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing in my short life. The raw power & animation stunned while commanding the crowd. This was not a dance party, this was a rock show, and they were the Gods of the hour.

After crashing out, I spent that Saturday eating & drinking my way across the city of Philadelphia, commiserating with friends, old and new. Many hours & many more beverages later, I found myself at Blurr, a tiny bar in deep illadelphia. Imperial Drum & Bass was setting up for another hard night, and Bailey was about to hit the decks. The D&B coming out of Self & Destin over the course of the night was hard and fast, with none of the liquid or smoothed out melodies you hear from Hospital Records. This was dank & dirty drum & bass. The heads there swapped out between hanging by the bar sucking down brews & ducking outside for quick smokes. There was a raw authenticity to the event that you rarely find in NYC these days, and the kids gave no fucks who was dressed in what or how much people were spending at the bar. It was all about dat bass yo.

http://www.imperialphilly.com/imperial-dnb-jungle-events.html

Bailey took the decks and immediately blew everyone away. The d&b was relentless, with cuts and samples jarring the dance floor and knocking people around. It’s fun when you think there’s a mosh pit going on, but it’s really just bass assaulting people who got a little bit too close to the bottoms. I mean, until someone knocked a beer onto Bailey’s laptop. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the party was so intimate, that someone could actually just be drunk and ruin it for everyone. So while he was shaking his Macbook dry, my friends and I beat a hasty retreat back to my friend’s compound for additional good times before crashing out. The bus back to NYC would come soon enough, but as I pulled the covers up as I tried to get comfortable on a couch, I definitely knew that this weekend would herald some excellent adventures. Keep checking in here to see more of my “America, Fuck Yeah!” Tour. Let’s see what trouble I can get into.

(Pictures care of MVK & Access provided by ElectronicNightLife.com