WingcomLtd’s Tomi Johnson interviewed Kaskade at Atlanta’s The Mark Ultralounge.

Kaskade creates futuristic music at

The Mark’s Ultralounge

By Tomi Johnson.  Digital images by Kurk D. Johnson

©2004 WingcomLtd. All Rights Reserved.

 

February 21, 2004, Atlanta, GA…One doesn’t need a live band to create a musical happening after 12:45 am in downtown Atlanta. There’s a vinyl-inspired, melodious, soul dichotomy streaming from The Mark’s hip scene of martinis, message beats, and freaky dancing, but it’s all good!  Out front, there’s a silver Ferrari in valet parking behind a clean, white Oldsmobile, an indication of the mixed cultures with diverse tastes found inside.

 

Downstairs near three well-stocked bars is calm, laid back Kaskade who waits his turn in the DJ box to spin three turntables of 12” vinyls into a soulful, sensual frenzy for party-goers. Possibly the #1 up and coming DJ in the U.S., OM Records’ Kaskade made his Atlanta debut at The Mark courtesy of URB Magazine and Toyota’s Scion. Kaskade’s international nightclubbing circuit has stopped to sample the ATL crowd.

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“My music is more than House music. It's futuristic. I concentrate heavily on melody and lyrics,” said a blue sweat suit-clad Kaskade with jacket zipped up to his chin. A producer who has spent the last four years in San Francisco, Kaskade replied, “Well, you know, we’re a little crazy out there,” when asked about the hub-bub surrounding the recent lifting of the gay marriage ban. He grew up in the suburbs of mid-western Windy City/Chi-town. Kaskade has just returned from a gig in
Majorca, Spain. Next, he will be off to Canada, then on to Miami, then back to his roots in Chicago on his city-to-city tour. Kaskade is heavenly extended.

 

 “Step on into my grove where we are all the same.”

From “ What I Say” cut on “It’s you, it’s me” CD produced by Kaskade

 

DJ and record producer Kaskade made his debut Atlanta performance at The Mark ultralounge.

 

Kaskade is a college grad, ex-music storeowner, and definitely an optimistic symbol of today’s streaming music innovators. OM Records’ press release describes his music as “diverse, complete with uplifting sounds, organic instrumentals, and catchy vocals embodying life, love and happiness.” Billboard describes him as “humble and low-key.” “It’s you, it’s me” was his first CD, and “Soundtrack to the Soul” is his latest. Just this month he has put the finishing touches on a new release due out in May.

 

His real name is Ryan Radden, and he has been around the world promoting his art of mixing beats to inspirational messages. He’s married, clean-shaven, shows neither visible tattoos nor piercings; no profanity comes out of his mouth when you talk to him which gives the impression that he’s strictly civilized and non-gangsterized. His demeanor and style may have been influenced by the Mormon tenets of Salt Lake City, Utah where he lived over 10 years ago. Serious about successfully melting cuts together, he sheds his jacket after spinning the first few 12-inch vinyls. “It’s a good Saturday night,” said Andrew in the coat check station who estimated 400 insiders were in their places around 2:00 am with people still walking through the entrance. There was no room on the dance floor.

 

 

The Mark is a classy underground hangout were people are cordial, non-intimidating and unpretentious. Described as “Atlanta's newest and best spot for cocktails” by The Downtown ATL Newsletter, The Mark is ultra-chic, billing itself as having the biggest DJs, the best vide, and the place “where the most beautiful people make their mark.” Situated in the historic Farley-Poplar district on Poplar Street near Forsyth and Luckie, The Mark’s 5,000 square foot flowing interior was created by designers who based the décor on relaxed and stylish environments reminiscent of New York City’s Soho Grand Hotel. Grooved, multi-colored, wooden wall panels; custom furniture, exotic live and fake flowers, waterfalls, a collection of inlaid media monitors with jumping visuals, private seating alcoves, and rad decorations appeal to eyes looking for an innovative setting.

 

There are no bikini girls in cages, but the clientele’s outfits are plunging front and back, showing lots of breathable skin on the dance floor. The guy’s shirts are flowery and stripped, and pants - mostly tight jeans - illustrating a posh/relaxed dress code. Depending on what night you go there, The Mark’s variety of music can shift from Soul & Funk, to New Wave, Techno, Rave, Downtempo, House or Electronica. Some of the regular DJs who have lived in Europe, New York, and on the West Coast include Brandon Sutton, DJ, Inc.; Jason Gerry, Jonathan Edwards, Joshua Craig, Kevin O., DJ Keiran, La Tonya D, Lisa Fox, and MacKensie Leigh.  Kaskade was a special treat following Grand Master Flash the night before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pablo Herderson is the owner of The Mark. Jonathan Edwards is the club’s manager.

 

WingcomLtd: What makes The Mark unique when compared to other clubs in Atlanta?

 

Edwards: This is a very interesting question...and one that I ask myself a lot. I think one good way to put it is we are an upscale club with an underground attitude that caters to people who have an appreciation for style and substance as well as cutting edge music. They do not have to be mutually exclusive. Far too often, I go to clubs that are very stylish but are playing the lowest common denominator music. That’s lazy...and it doesn’t have to be that way. On the flip side of that, why do all the “underground” clubs have to be holes in the wall? We want to integrate those concepts.

 

  The Mark’s private party room is across from the main dance floor.                        

 

WingcomLtd: What was the audience’s reaction to Kaskade?

 

Edwards: It was incredible...we had a packed dance floor all night. We were very pleased and intend on bringing him back sometime within the next year.

 

WingcomLtd:  How would you describe his music?

 

Edwards:  Deep and funky House music for your soul...uplifting and enlightening.

 

WingcomLtd:  How were you able to get Toyota to buy into sponsoring the event?

 

Edwards:  A promoter we were working with on this event brought Scion and Urb Magazine on board...so you would have to talk to her...but my guess is they know a good thing when they hear it. As for his marketability, all you have to do is listen to his CD. It truly speaks for itself.

 

 

For more information on The Mark, go to: http://www.themarkatlanta.com

 

Kaskade’s official website is: http://www.kaskademusic.com

 

The information in this article is the opinion of the author and, therefore, should not be construed as libelous.

©2004 WingcomLtd. All Rights Reserved.

 

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