Belgian artist Transistorcake makes a return to local label Eskimo Recordings with the expertly crafted sophomore EP ‘Cocktail’. Known for blending an eclectic range of sonic flavours into his tunes and captivating audiences with his full-band live performances, Orson Wouters a.k.a Transistorcake makes his fondness of cocktails the thematic centrepiece of this elegant 6-track synth-led soiree.
The EP opens with the dreamy soundscapes of ‘Cocktail Op.1’, building up slowly in a majestic iridescence to a crux of ‘This is what your first cocktail tastes like’, before breaking into a wild downtempo jam driven by a funky new-wave bass and retaining the bright plucky droplets on the high end. Creating a hazy, elevator muzak-esque vibe through laying a spoken word description of a Frozen Margherita over jazzy, lofi chords. This EP’s opening motif is one of luxury and glamour.
The chaser is a no-nonsense dancefloor anthem in the form of ‘Grenadine’. Guided by a thick, vintage, tubular bass sound, the track pulls the listener in with its dragged, low hanging beat and syncopated rhythmic stuttering while twisting and turning in unpredictable directions as an array of sampled synth sounds come and go with an almost improvisational tone.
Having warmed up with ‘Grenadine’, the listener is ready to embrace the gauzy, downtempo soundscapes explored by ‘Melted’, a lethargic, brooding beat with a hypnotic bass track underpinning a satisfying tonic of breathy pads. The track transports the listener to a sunset beach escape, inducing a lullaby trance with its detuned analogue synths and pleasing inserts of subtle melodies and samples.
Next up is Transistorcake’s ‘Pina’. Turning up the BPM and the excitement level, the centrepiece of the track is a locomotive progression of blunt chords in a state of constant movement, supported by a scattered, spherical drum beat and thumping bassline. The end result is a euphoric dancefloor anthem designed for a high-flyers roof party on the shoreline of Saint Julian.
Part 2 of the intro follows on in a consistent manner to ‘Cocktail Op.1’. Taking on a more pumped-up sentiment, ‘Cocktail Op.2’ perfectly signifies the time of the night when you’re at your peak of inebriation, feeling untouchable, ecstatic and ready to take on the whole floor. Sharing the same pauses for ambient beauty as its counterpart, the sequel track perfectly blends dancefloor energy with smoke-room relaxation in an arrangement that feels ecstatic and uplifting.
The EP concludes with ‘Mosquito Mojito’, a sentimental end-of-the-night composition. Perfectly summing up that Sunday sunrise feeling when the clubs finally close, the shops start to open, and you’re left with a pensive feeling of tranquillity. An introspective melody accompanies you over a childlike soundscape of textures, creating a warm, hypnagogic feeling, marking the closing of the party and the EP in a scenic, transcendent manner.
Cocktail EP marks Transistorcake’s second entry onto Belgian label Eskimo Recording’s growing roster of aesthetic releases, strikingly realising the artist’s idea to impose a strong visual component over the EP’s dreamlike atmospheres. Transistorcake conjures up scenes of ostentation and glitz that perfectly accompany the timbral qualities contained within the composition.