Championing sensibilities from his post-rock and alt-pop roots, stage musician turned electronic music producer Kasztan is on track to enter into the upper echelons of dance music with his anthemic strain of underground music. Championing a wholly authentic sound profile that’s as warmly familiar as it is progressive, the French native is building a back-catalogue of quality cuts that have proven equally worthy for both the club and at-home listening spaces.
Launching his own Stemina Recordings in 2022, Kasztan has since delivered a series of euphoric originals and collaborations for the indie dance community, as well as endorsing some of France’s most exciting rising stars. Having teased the release of his debut extended player for the imprint with the unveiling of its lead singles Water Soldier, Monolift and Aqua Drama, the burgeoning talent now presents the full, seven-track Air Mass EP – out now across all streaming platforms.
“Air Mass is without a doubt my most accomplished and committed work to date. I’m still a bit of a newcomer to electronic music and my main objective was to work on a longer format to stabilise my sound without limiting myself to a single genre. I like working in a restrictive environment with a reduced set-up in terms of gear. In this finite space, there’s a lot of density and elements that collide, echoing the complexity of our world and its challenges, most notably climate change.” – Kasztan
The stunning collection of records opens with the never-before-heard My Mistake; an unequivocally cool slice of techno-tinged break-beat that represents some of Kasztan’s most daring and refined work to date. Intoxicatingly fluid, the EP’s opener presents a heady display of bass, vocal chops and quirky synth injections that prove to be both thrilling and introspective in equal measure. Enjoying its initial release in July, Kasztan’s Water Soldier serves as one of the stand-out cuts on the record and welcomes esteemed neo-soul vocalist Dahlie. Continuing his theme of bass, garage and experimental electronica, the second offering straddles the underground and soulful pop realms to rapturous effect, carving a fresh and forward-thinking path for his output.
Monolift is more ethereal and joyous in nature, presenting blissful vocal phrases, twinkling synth-work and delicate percussion. A tranquil sonic gem created with ‘the journey’ in mind, Monolift’s serene spirit makes it the perfect addition to any chill-out playlist. Pivoting stylistically and testament to Kasztan’s incredibly versatile sound palette, his next opus Aqua Drama is a fast-paced leftfield number that boasts electronica synth patterns and trippy vocal chops. Remaining tethered to the EPs overruling motif through its soulful vocal hits, the cut presents the experimental workings of Kasztan’s artistry in a way we’ve never heard before. Moving onto Polonium, we’re treated to a pulsing bass, evolving synth elements and a calming soundscape of celestial melodies that flow effortlessly around one another.
Kasztan’s Drinking To World Peace is another stunning creation that places emphasis on his aptitude for authentic synth-work. Built on a bedrock of reflective piano chords, crisp percussion and ambiguous vocal chops, the track bares a myriad of exotic synth hits that wholly infiltrate the senses. Closing out this impeccable mosaic of tracks, we’re treated to Away From Keyboard; a haunting cinematic piece that provides a definitive conclusion to the Air Mass journey. Lulling its listeners with soft soundscapes and meditative chimes, Kasztan’s final offering quickly escalates into an emotive apogee of melodies before a decaying bass synth brings it to a vivid end.
Kasztan – Air Mass EP is out now via Stemina Recordings
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Written by: Alejandro Serrano
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