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Kaskade at LAVO: 5 tracks you need to know

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Lavo’s famed Thursday night parties invariably attract big names, long lines, and an impressive girl to guy ratio — but once you get inside it’s almost always worth the wait. The musical maestro for last Thursday’s event was the venerable Kaskade, and though his set time wasn’t until 1 AM, hopeful fans were lining up by 10 — an hour before the doors even opened. The turnout was a testament to both the exclusivity of the venue and Kaskade’s celebrity status. The same man who once shut down Hollywood Boulevard was now the reason for a 58th Street takeover.

After the night’s private party had dispersed and the bouncers and doormen had taken their usual spots behind the velvet ropes, the doors finally opened. However, the line only got longer and longer over the course of the night, as more and more people showed up to try and catch one of Kaskade’s notorious sets.

Inside, a line of bottle waitresses in matching hot pink, skin-tight mini-dresses braced for an onslaught of New York elite, rowdy twenty-somethings, and even a few VIPs. (The infamous Paris Hilton was posted up right in front of Kaskade’s perch for most of his set.) As club goers began to file in, up-and-coming DJ Danny Avila warmed up the crowd with an appropriate selection of opening tracks until Kaskade finally hit the decks.

As someone who has seen Kaskade live on numerous occasions, I know that Kaskade the producer and Kaskade the DJ are not one and the same. His tracks, which are generally soft and rife with vocal emotion, are not a fair representation of his live performances. His sets are equally emotional, but also much harder than you would expect if you’ve only ever listened to his albums. Instead of playing his productions in their original form, Kaskade is famous for the bootlegs he creates, which allow fans to appreciate his tracks in new ways. This juxtaposition between hard and soft is a major part of his allure.

Despite his broken foot — and, by proxy, an inability to jump around as he usually would — Kaskade brought his A-game to the nightclub-cum-restaurant. For two and a half hours he captivated attendees with a selection of mashups, bootlegs, classic Kaskade tunes, and hard-to-ID tracks — making the time and money spent to get in worth it. Without further ado, here are the five tracks you need to know.

1. Federico Scavo – Strump (Tujamo Remix) | Purchase

The funky, rhythmic horns in “Strump” are too good not to get feet stomping along to the beat.

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2. Gregor Salto – Azumba | Purchase

“Azumba” employs drums instead of horns but like “Strump,” it is a massively danceable track and one that’s impossible to forget once you’ve heard it. Although a variety of DJ’s — including Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano and A Trak — have played the tune in their sets I was (pleasantly) surprised to hear Kaskade drop it.

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3. The Joy Formidable – A Heavy Abacus (Qulinez Remix) | Purchase

Qulinez’ remix of “A Heavy Abacus” was one of the stand out tracks of the evening. Attendees who knew the song sang a long and those who didn’t were left wondering what it was.

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4. Nero vs Nicky Romero – No WTF Promises (Ken Loi Bootup) | Download

Although “No WTF Promises” isn’t a Kaskade bootleg, it still breathes new life into “WTF” and “Promises.”

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5. Kaskade vs. Qulinez – Stars Troll | Purchase

It wouldn’t be a night with Kaskade without one, or several of his legendary bootlegs, and “Stars Troll” certainly fits the bill.

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For More Kaskade live coverage, check out our review from Ultra 2012.

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