Aili & Transistorcake
Finally Aili X Transistorcake's 5-track debut EP arrives ... future Belpop / Mania-classic ... highly recommended!
For her debut EP, 'Dansu' Belgian-Japanese artist Aili has joined forces with another of Belgium's most exciting new acts Transistorcake, the pair working through lockdown to produce a wonderfully fresh sounding 5 track release on Eskimo Recordings. Effortlessly bringing together elements of Kosmiche Musik, Acid House, Electronica, Disco & Leftfield Pop, the 'Dansu' EP is as easy on the ears as it is hard to categorise.
A1. Aili x Transistorcake - Dansu
A2. Aili x Transistorcake - Oki
B1. Aili x Transistorcake - Pari Pari
B2. Aili x Transistorcake - Genki
B3. Aili x Transistorcake – Futsu
Opening the EP is the title track 'Dansu', a hymn to dancing the night away, made more poignant being written and recorded as Brussels' club sat shut. Over a taut Motorik rhythms Aili's hushed vocals blending perfectly with lambent washes of synths to create a hypnotic, languorously funky, track with echoes of artists like Can or Stereolab.
Anyone who's heard Transistorcake's previous releases will know his love of a 303 and 'Oki' sees the pair up the tempo and twist a sinuous acid bass line over Aili's chopped up vocals and mantra like chant of "Oki ku natara" ("when I grow up") to create a propulsive club track.
Sticking with the squelchy bass line, 'Pari Pari' drops the tempo and ups the funk, Aili's vocals perfectly blending in with the ethereal synths to create an other-worldly vibe. Curious minds should know the track takes its title from Aili's dad's name for tonkatsu, a kind of Japanese schnitzel, that crackle (Japanese - Pari) as you eat them, there you go you've learned something new today.
'Genki' sees the pair bring back those Motorik rhythms that kicked off the EP this time accompanied by mesmerising synths and another writhing, hypnotic acid melody all punctuated by Aili's vocals, composed entirely from gairaigo, English 'loan words' that have entered the Japanese language.
Closing out the EP 'Futsu' has an almost kitsch quality to it, filled with a heady mix of electronic sounds, strange percussion and Aili's stop-start sing-song vocals. "When I talk to my dad on the phone and ask him how he's doing, the answer is always: "mama bochi bochi futsu," explains Aili. "So Futsu's an ode to the many, many inside jokes between my sister, my father and me."
Gleefully eclectic and joyful in nature, the 'Dansu' EP is a perfect introduction to Aili and her musical world, a playful place where anything goes. With the pair currently working together on a new live show it's to be hoped it won't be too long before we can all dance together again.