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 999999999with ‘Alarm 303’ – a powerful techno floor destroyerarmedwith a reverberating kick, rushy rave stabs and abarrage of alarms. Promising newcomer Jastice presentsanenergetic ravey cut that weaves between faded synthsand a softened vocal, accompanied by an entrancinginterlude with ‘Hey You’. Mancunian producer Kontaindishes out ‘Neck Crank’, a hybrid of gritty rumblingbasschords, strident synths and an unwavering kick. Istanbul’sGräfin continues by deftly combining electronic stabs,flurried hi-hats and gravitating synths layered abovethe melody in ‘Chatty Echoes’.
Following is ‘Bóg Jest w Techno’ event boss Sept,who presents us with a stripped back cut layered withpiercing synth keys and gentle electro elements in‘Beyond The Veil’. Acid stabs and a female voiceechothe track title in Raven’s trippy cut ‘Metal On Metal’,with light airy synths to close out that simulateeuphoria. We’re taken on a dark and weighteir expeditionwith Frazi.er in ‘Systematic Ignorance’ – abrooding bass drives the sound, with acid melodiesadding texture throughout. Keeping up pace is ‘Kendall’ by Trym, a cinematic composition that utilise scymbals, hi-hats and synth notes to create abrighter 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 ‘Healing 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.