Despite the overuse of the term ‘forward thinking d&b’, very few labels in the 170 scene are genuinely putting out music that lives up to that moniker. It seems all too easy to band that phrase around in press releases while putting out a flood of dark rollers that, in many cases, are a bit of a non event. Exit Records however, are a label that can truly lay claim to the ‘forward thinking’ label, having put out some of the most scene jolting releases in recent years. With D Bridge at the helm and superb curation that includes legendary stalwarts such as Calibre, Commix and Loxy as well as the most exciting new producers about such as Stray, Dub Phizix and Synkro, there’s a reason why they’re thought of as one of d&b’s greatest modern labels. Not only that, but through cross genre collabs and experimentation, they’ve gained recognition outside of d&b that’s helping dismiss the stereotypes of it being a stagnant genre.
The 2011 compilation album Mosaic Vol 1 recieved massive critical acclaim that helped cement their position in the industry and, as the first Exit compilation, took an ever evolving label to the next level. Now, it’s sequel, volume 2, is set for release in early August and, judging by the recently surfaced previews, is set to carry the mantel to even higher heights. A 28 track CD is accompanied by three seperate vinyl LPs, each containing eight tracks spread across four vinyls, for a mammoth release that, for once, doesn’t leave vinyl purists left out by only cutting a small selection of the tracks to wax.
Despite a common ground of experimentation, the sounds featured are fairly varied, with the blissful soundscapes, liquid drums and female vocals of Machine Drum’s The Palace sitting alongside Dub Phizix’s deep, dark and bass fueled Yukon while Synkro’s The Way provides his trademark blend of ambiance and captivating ingenuity. Fracture’s Sick Wid It (Ft. Dawn Day Night) stands out for me with a really original, echoing intro that drops into the perfect juxtaposition of up beat melodies and piercing synths, while Consequence & FIS’s Cultural Trauma‘s growling bass line is second to none. D Bridge also delivers two solo tracks that show he’s no ordinary label owner; Not Known keeps things light and floating with a Space Odyssey feel, while My Night Sky drops from similair atmospherics into a deep, vibing break thats hard not to zone out into.
It’s a release that will no doubt set the standard for those after it, not only in terms of the tracks and production values featured, but also in terms of it’s package, where no expense has been spared with a massive vinyl release accompanied by free mp3s, as is the welcomed standard for Exit releases nowadays. It’s up for pre order already, so check out the previews below and head over to Surus to nab your copy of whichever chapter you prefer.