Amelie Lens’ EXHALE Records continues to deliver fiercely dynamic techno from the underground’s most promising, rising and established artists with its second VA compilation.
Following EXHALE’s first VA release in 2020, the party-series-turned-label once again welcomes existing members, flourishing producers and blossoming new artists to the EXHALE family for its second various artists compilation.
Opening the record are hardware aficionados 999999999 with ‘Alarm 303’ – a powerful techno floor destroyer armed with a reverberating kick, rushy rave stabs and a barrage of alarms. Promising newcomer Jastice presents an energetic ravey cut that weaves between faded synths and a softened vocal, accompanied by an entrancing interlude with ‘Hey You’. Mancunian producer Kontain dishes out ‘Neck Crank’, a hybrid of gritty rumbling bass chords, strident synths and an unwavering kick. Istanbul’s Gräfin continues by deftly combining electronic stabs, flurried hi-hats and gravitating synths layered above the melody in ‘Chatty Echoes’.
Following is ‘Bóg Jest w Techno’ event boss Sept, who presents us with a stripped back cut layered with piercing synth keys and gentle electro elements in ‘Beyond The Veil’. Acid stabs and a female voice echo the track title in Raven’s trippy cut ‘Metal On Metal’, with light airy synths to close out that simulate euphoria. We’re taken on a dark and weighteir expedition with Frazi.er in ‘Systematic Ignorance’ – a brooding bass drives the sound, with acid melodies adding texture throughout. Keeping up pace is ‘Kendall’ by Trym, a cinematic composition that utilises cymbals, hi-hats and synth notes to create a brighter melody over its dark percussion.
Rounding off is London techno talent Charlie Sparks who equips the record with weapon ‘Tataki’, combining Japanese vocals with acid 303’s, sirens and powerful kick drums. Next up we have Under Black Helmet with ‘Rogue’, an industrial style track that uses familiar dark themes characterized by distorted keys and commanding kicks. Brooklyn’s Xiorro follows with ‘Hearing Colors’ featuring Adrestia, with a yearning distorted vocal sample, protruding percussion and jagged synth keys. The finale is delivered by EXHALE mainstay Ahl Iver’s ‘There Is Always Light’ – a trancy endeavour that juggles hi-hats and cymbals with twinkling euphoric synth keys and long waning bass chords.
EXHALE Various Artists 002 drops on June 18th (Digital) & July 2nd (Vinyl) – listen to snippets from the VA below!