One of the more popular draws at Coachella Saturday was a Mormon family man who happens to be one of the world's most-popular DJs. Kaskade washed the Sahara dance tent with his ethereal, utterly feminine grooves, pulling in a throng of bouncing teenagers and twentysomethings who spilled outside the venue in nearly every direction.
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Kaskade's career has had a strange trajectory: He's gone from being a Bay Area deep house don with a very limited potential audience to becoming an international dance star. The difference has been his inclusion of waifish female vocals and high-flying trance melodies.
If you call his sound trance, however, Kaskade will take exception. And even though he's collaborated with trance king Tiesto on his May 11 album Dynasty, his productions maintain a beefier drive-train that retain the soul of house music.
In the tent Saturday his performance was electrifying even to casual observers of dance music. Ravers bobbed as a cavalcade of white beach balls of different sizes descended on the flock. Kaskade rinsed buzzing, electro-tinged grooves that, while sublime, maintained the edge and anticipation necessary to keep such a large boat afloat.
While we prefer our dance music darker and meaner (Radio Slave, Danny Tenaglia, Loco Dice), it was hard not to catch Kaskade's momentous, synapse-activating contagion.