Cassian has been on the Australian music scene for years now and has been recognised overseas for his epic production skills. So, why are we only getting his debut LP ‘Laps’ now? Well, all I can say is you can’t rush perfection and honestly, this LP is pretty much perfection. Cassian is a really talented artist with a vast range. He is able to blend genres together seamlessly to create an ambient soundscape you can get lost in for hours. ‘Laps’ encapsulates everything the world already loves about Cassian but shines a light on every facet of his work so we can truly bask in it and enjoy every minor detail.
‘Laps’ is split into two parts. The first (after a killer opening track) focuses on collaboration. Cassian really knows how to create songs that empower the vocalist he’s working with and allow them to flourish within his inviting melodies.
We kick things off with ‘Magical’ which features the vocals of ZOLLY (aka Phil Slabber from Crooked Colours). This track was released some time ago and people all over the world have already fallen in love with the crisp melody, snappy samples and cool synths that together, create a perfect late-night party track. After ‘Magical’, we jump into ‘Imagination’. Slapping samples give this track a bit of grit and perfectly contract the ambient synths that hover beneath the samples and Tora’s killer vocals. ‘Together’ is similar to ‘Imagination’ because it has a lot of energy and power, but Thandi Phoenix’s vocals feel gutsy, which produces that extra bit of oomph on ‘Together’. The popping synths emphasise the heavier beat on the track as well and straight away you know this is a track that deserves to be played to a large crowd – it just has that kind of vibe.
The second half of ‘Laps’ is fully instrumental, which is honestly great because this is the type of music that really helped Cassian stand out when he first landed on the electronic music scene here in Australia. ‘Lafayette’ is one of the songs on ‘Laps’ that has a lot of swagger with its grunty samples. There are certain elements of this track that make it sound like a dark arcade game, like the flickering synths and computerised samples that are trickling throughout the track, but it’s still so modern and the perfect example of Cassian’s forward-thinking production. ‘Open Up’ is gorgeous and takes things to a more haunting place with hollow samples and distorted vocals. It’s rare that you find a track that sounds eerie and energetic at the same time, but that’s exactly what ‘Open Up’ is and it’s completely different to ‘The Rise’, which is definitely more uplifting.
‘The Rise’ is like a sunrise with hovering synths and twinkling samples opening the track before it bursts into a fully computerised electronic dreamscape. ‘The Rise’ and the final track on the LP, ‘Laps’ are both extremely cinematic. The former uses deep vocals and humming synths to really paint a brighter picture, while ‘Laps’ takes analogue-driven synths and 90’s-inspired samples into a fast-paced environment that makes you feel like you’re always on the move.
When you listen to ‘Laps’ from start to finish, you realise that the LP’s title track is a perfect note to end on. The song feels like it’s charging forward and that’s what casein is doing, charging forward into a career that will no doubt last for a very, very long time. Cassian is brilliant and can paint a picture with his precise production skills and create a song that feels hauntingly beautiful. Everyone should be paying more attention to Cassian and what he can do because he’s got a lot to offer.