Kage keeps his eye on the prize as the burgeoning bass house producer unveils “Downfall,” the fourth single he’s secured on Insomniac’s IN / ROTATION imprint.
Tenacity is a virtue to be desired for aspiring artists who hope to stand a chance at sticking around long enough to get noticed. The assiduous man of mystery known as Kage has presumably had to shake off his fair share of cold shoulders over the years, before reaching the point in which plaudits seem to be pouring in from every angle. His dark, minimalistic take on house music has been praised by top-tier talent from the likes of Porter Robinson, Tchami, Oliver Heldens, Martin Garrix and beyond, and that recognition has helped open the doors to almost any label of his liking. IN / ROTATION has been fortunate enough to enjoy a front-row seat to his meteoric rise, giving him some much-deserved space to shine on several releases stretching back to the top of 2020. After cementing himself as a prominent player on the catalog, the hustling house head is issuing another certified club tool, one that he’s issuing as a reminder to never let failure get the last laugh. His new single “Downfall” is all about turning Ls into life lessons.
“‘Downfall’ is about persistence,” says Kage. “Not caring about how many times you fail as long as you get up. Just keep falling.”
There’s a roar of resilience embedded throughout the track’s tumultuous three-track run. The lyrics “we’ll keep falling” are even used as a grim greeting ringing out in the opening notes, and then chopped up and seasoned in amply to reinforce the notion that repetition is the road to triumph. As the looped vox tries to find any opening possible to sneak itself back into the picture—like self-doubt spewing out from the shadows of the subconscious—there’s an overpowering sense of self-assurance dwelling within every buoyant beat. His signature rubbery basslines and punchy percussive arrangements help keep the insecurities at bay, as the rugged rhythmic core powers through dissonant melodies, tension-building risers, plucky low-end and harmonic orchestral elements. Beefy bass and suspenseful strings have become somewhat of a calling card for him, and both are used in tandem to great effect to create a climactic finale that flies in the face of fear. At the end of it all, there’s zero room left to be preoccupied by any distressing thoughts other than not wanting the action to end.
Kage has been a consistent force of IN / ROTATION since debuting on the imprint with his aptly titled “So Dope” collab alongside Back2Black. Since then, he’s kept the momentum locked through a quick succession of standalone singles, starting with “Suspect” and then closing out the year with “Godspeed.” In 2021, he started the year off on a high notes with a habit-forming rework of Noises and Ekonovah’s “Medicine,” joining a healthy list of label regulars on the official remix package, including bits from PEACE MAKER!, Jace Mek, FreeFall and Animate. In March, he torched through his fifth IN/RO appearance on the extremely combustible cut ‘Smokin,’ another hot-to-the-touch house offering. Only a few months on from his last release, and the enigmatic Kage deliver’s “Downfall” as a testament that determination and consistency are the steppingstones for success. And he’s walking proof that hard work goes a long way.