For most house artists, emotional engagement isn't really the point; the involvement they're trying to inspire is mainly physical, and that often leads to a certain predictability in the music. Ryan Raddon (aka Kaskade) is a bright and shining exception to that rule, a master of club conventions who never seems to allow himself to coast or phone it in. He also seems to be a connoisseur of good singing voices, intelligent lyrics, and uplifting melodic hooks as much as he is a lover of thumping foursquare beats, which means that his albums tend to be highly listenable as pop music, not just as utilitarian dancefloor fodder. Here and Now, a generously packed two-disc set, collects all of his single releases along with B-sides and other rarities not previously released on a Kaskade album, and it doesn't disappoint. Fans will already be familiar with such popular fare as the soulful and joyous "Gonna Make It," the subtly jungle-flavored "Peace on Earth," and the gorgeous "It's You, It's Me," but non-completists may be hearing the rhythmically tricky "This Rhythm" and the surprisingly dubbed-up funk-reggae of "My Name" for the first time. The real treat is Kaskade's caressingly beautiful arrangement of the classic Christmas hymn "Still, Still, Still," previously available only on the Home for the Holidays [OM] collection. Despite one or two slightly less exciting tracks, this is an excellent overview of the work one of dance music's most exciting talents.
AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2