Here are a few words on Beyond The Cosmic Blaze EP by Portland producer and DJ Etbonz, the latest offering (and first vinyl release) from Bouquet., a party and record label from San Diego that places a firm emphasis on acceptance, inclusivity, safety, and expression through music, art and dance.
Four songs long, Beyond The Cosmic Blaze is an exploration of Etbonz’s affinity for 80s/90s sci-fi movies and toys, as filtered through their interest in techno and cosmic disco in a long-form (7+ minutes per track) style. In the release notes, Bouquet. frame Etbonz work around a litany of hyper-specific references such as Starcom and Go-Bots toys, VHS versions of tough guy sci-fi classics like Robocop, Predator and Big Trouble in Little China, and the experience of DJing in laser-lit warehouse rooms. As a context, it evokes something similar to the mood captured on Netflix period piece Stranger Things. If the cast were a bit older, and when they weren’t fighting monsters, spent their evenings at raves, that is.
‘Blue Drink’ kicks off with a digital melody straight out of a 90s spirituality infomercial, quickly letting plastic calm collapse into a driving disco-funk beat and bassline followed by rave synths and full roster of switch-ups. ‘Curtainbox Space World’ follows a similar theme, but with more of a new wave meets proto-house mood, bleeps and bloops rubbing against a driving groove and twirling hair-metal notes. Bubbly, and a touch dubby, the title track hones in on hypnotism by way of rhythm, oodles of tom-tom drums, yet more hair metal touches, and smooth, spacey synths. The EP closes off with a rework of ‘Blue Drink’ created by Grenvision’s Trent, who retains the strut of Ebtonz’s original, while giving it a retro space-aged robo refit.
All in all, functional dancefloor sounds from a thoughtful producer, released through an equally thoughtful and emergent new collective with the right ethos. Let’s keep an ear on Bouquet.
Beyond The Cosmic Blaze is due for release through Bouquet. on the 1st of September in digital and vinyl formats (pre-order here)