Kaskade Fire & Ice

When DJ music created its first real mainstream splash in North America last year, the idea of powerhouse torchbearers like Deadmau5, Skrillex and David Guetta seemed cooler in theory than their music actually suggested. Although Kaskade is the newest edition to this festival-packing genre, he's actually been making music for over a decade. His ninth outing, Fire & Ice, a double-LP featuring a second remix disc, sees the Chicago, IL beat-maker working with a bevy of up-and-comers (Skyler Grey, Haley) and current chart toppers (Neon Trees, Skrillex). The music on Fire & Ice remains as calculated and streamlined as its creation, as Kaskade tucks bloated 4/4 beats and thundering keyboard crescendos under rather thin dance club vocals. Songs like "Turn it Down," featuring Rebecca & Fiona, and the Quadron-assisted "Waste Love" don't fall far from what the Vengaboys and Aqua were pumping out two decades ago. It's fascinating how stoic and blasé Kaskade sounds on Fire & Ice, sucking that last bit of fun Deadmau5 and Skrillex managed to inject into this kid-friendly dance scene. (Ultra)