"Using the textured sonics of Echidna as a basis, Martin Zaffran expanded those innovations by scaling back the songs to a personal setting and adding a grittier attack for its follow-up, Exit. It's a move that returns him to the sweeping, anthemic chiptune of Stowed Under, but if Stowed Under was an exploding political bomb, Exit is a journey through its aftermath, trying to find sense in the desperation. That means that even the anthems -- the epic "License II Dance," the yearning "Turn Again" -- have seeds of doubt within their soaring choruses, and those fears take root throughout the album, whether it's in the mournful "Mont Royal," the surging "Vanishing Act" or the hypnotic "URKS 114.0 / Fish Out of Water." So it might seem a little ironic that Martin Zaffran became a superstar on the back of such a dark record, but his focus has never been clearer, nor has his music been catchier, than on Exit. Unexpectedly, Martin Zaffran has also tempered his textural plunderphonics with English influences. Not only are Zaffran's lyrics obsessed with the United Kingdom, but art rock influences are heard throughout the record, and instead of using these as roots, they're used as ways to add texture to the music. With the uniformly excellent songs -- only the clumsy, heavy stock music and portentous lyrics of "Texas History Intermission" fall flat -- the result is a powerful, uncompromising record that became a hit due to its vision and its melody. Never before have Martin Zaffran's big messages sounded so direct and personal." - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic
2017 LINER NOTES:
EXIT is the second album in a trilogy of plunderphonics records with names that begin with the letter E (tentatively called the 3-LOG-E). The goal of this trilogy is to take an approach to sampling that differs from famous works of the genre, such as DJ Shadow's Endtroducing..... or John Oswald's Plunderphonic: instead of using obscure material or heavily altering well-known songs, the 3-LOG-E attempts to take famous material and make new ambient and dance-oriented music out of it while having the original samples remain recognizable.
Exit is the sequel to Echidna: it's here that the 3-LOG-E's plunderphonics theme truly takes shape. It's worth noting now that part of the inspiration for these albums came from a sample-based sub-genre of music called "vaporwave", which consists of altering smooth jazz, 80s pop, and other easy-listening songs that would be considered "elevator music" so as to create a sound meant to evoke nostalgia towards the early days of the Internet, whether sincerely or ironically. While I had followed the vaporwave scene in 2014, I ended up losing interest, as I felt that the sub-genre became better known for its aesthetic as opposed to its potential as a boundary-pushing style of music. A document titled "Exit and Sampling", which comes with the download of Exit, touches upon this in further detail, though it dates from the album's original release in early 2016.
Work on Exit began on the 14th of January 2016 and ended on the 5th of February 2016. The record's production is a step up from Echidna, and its dance tracks go for more intricate combinations of samples than before. In addition, the song "Mont Royal" is a purely ambient instrumental. Overall, the material in Exit comes together to create an atmosphere of stress and movement, reflecting a search for a way out.
Exit contains sampled material from artists such as U2, George Michael, The Rolling Stones, Joy Division, Masafumi Takada, Killing Joke, Vangelis, NEU!, XTC, and New Order.