San Fran-via-Pittsburgh producer Kastle has been on a steady climb over the last couple of years. Releasing his So You EP in late 2011 he started to come on the radar of many in the music community, however it was the release of his re-work of an Alicia Keys song, entitled ‘Stay Forever‘, that threw him in to the limelight of most of the blogging community. His recent mix for Australian Triple-J Radio is definitely worth a listen as it incorporates everything that is Kastle, big synth work, understated percussion and octave-jumping vocal manipulation.
This is ‘Baby, Keep It Real’ and was uploaded just under a month ago. Here Kastle takes vocals from 1999 soul hit ‘Tell Me It’s Real‘ by K-Ci & JoJo, remember it? Me neither. This smooth, laid-back soul record is now up-tempoed and put to a good thudding kick and mechanical click beat with the occasional cymbal fill. As we’ve come to expect from the San Fran resident, the vocals are morphed all over the place, and now laid on a deep house bassline. When the vocal hook arrives we see more of the introduction of the multi-voiced crescendoing synth work that would not be out of place on a James Blake.
Kastle’s real ability is to keep the song fresh by never relying on a single aspect to hold up the record, each section of the track is around for 30 seconds max before he takes you somewhere else, only to bring you back to where you started. This track, just like all his others, takes you on a cyclical journey.