It’s just a shame that the few hints of the old Kaskade are buried in amongst a record that isn’t quite sure where it wants to go or why.

It isn’t very often you come across an album that is so difficult to listen to. Difficult because casting one’s mind back to Kaskade’s debut, It’s You, It’s Me, or even crossover hit ‘Move For Me’, listening to Atmosphere is deeply underwhelming.

Smooth and so slickly produced that the sound is virtually coated in oil, there is nothing particularly bad about any track that appears on Atmosphere. The real problem is the album barely has any atmosphere at all.

Sure, there’s a marked focus on the ‘classic’ elements of music – dramatic keys and solemn string sections get their chance to shine here – but it seems on his tenth full-length studio album Kaskade has gone his own way, and to his credit, eschewed the radio-friendly vibe of previous work as he experiments with a more varied landscape.

However, the occasional glimmer of his deep house roots peeks out every now and then and keeps things above board, such as on ‘MIA To LAS’ (which deserves a decent set of headphones at the very least). Meanwhile, ‘Something Something’ (featuring Zip Zip Through The Night) is a pleasant surprise, a lilting indie-dance foray that might not be Kaskade’s usual style but one he nails with aplomb. Kaskade also steps up on vocals for the title track, which is inoffensive at best. But when the album veers sharply into stadium EDM territory, things become inane and uninspiring.

2/5 stars


Atmosphereis out now through Ultra Music/Onelove Recordings

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