The Final Chapter of EXALT Records: A Celebration of Legacy

The Final Chapter of EXALT Records: A Celebration of Legacy

June 4, 2024 Off By Editor

Review – Jeff Dobson                          

Frank Herbert once said, “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” For EXALT Records, that place has now been reached.

As Dylan Thomas urged, EXALT will not go quietly into the night. No, no, no, they won’t. With as much care and diligence that was attached to the “Altered Images” EP, their very first release way back, has been applied to the curation of the label’s swan song. Where many a label sails off into the blue yonder leaving a void and a “Greatest Hits” mockery for the fans, Jamie Exalt (CEO) wanted to add to the already celebrated legacy.

Exalt Records – The End

JE: “All 18 tracks that went onto this project were specifically written for it by artists previously released with us, and with an onus on farewell. I think they’ve achieved that. I feel very happy with the overall flow of the tracks and album as a whole. After spending such a long, long time to put them in the order they stand, I’m really pleased with the finished project.”

JD: Any point in the duration you thought…is this really the end?

JE: “Constantly, and the delays have meant that it feels like it really has a life of its own…making its own decisions. However, when we started, it was always going to start at 023 and go backward to The End, and here we are.”

JD: Define EXALT from the back catalogue.

JE: “Wow…Bloody hell… Early doors – Paul Hierophant Utopian Dystopias Part 2 and Shadow Acid – Timescape. I feel those two releases definitely with regard to our earlier sound versus later explorations into acid and breakbeats.”

So what do we get for our buck? Well, you’re going to receive, as stated, 18 tracks specifically written, no remixes or edits, across 3 slices of black crack. In itself, it’s a tickler of one’s fancy, and that’s before you look down the list of producers whose individual talents, never mind as a collective, dwell in the buy-on-sight realm of the underground electronic scene. I mean, come on people: POSTHUMAN, Morphology, Jon Shima, Russ Gabriel, Steve Rutter…I could go on and on, but that’s the wife’s job. Each cut, BPM aside, and I dare say the whole release, for me, carries a warm melancholy not to be confused with sadness.

Exalt Records – The End

There’s a certain acceptance, not an anger, which I absolutely adore. Reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Great Gig in the Sky” and its portrayal of the steps towards the finality of it all. Over poetic? Think I care? Good. I’ve been fortunate to have an early copy which I’ve had the opportunity to play out on the big rig. “Fin de Siècle” and “Pissing Against the Wind” snuggled into a deep breaks/D&B set sounded lush.

EXALT’s final voyage has quickly cemented its place in my case and I can only see its vast possibilities being explored for a long time to come. So, I suppose it’s not goodbye; it’s see you later to one of my favorite labels.

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