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On their first, self-titled release, Exhaust slunk out of the gates with a grimy-ass sound of the city. Mixing live and programmed beats, super low-end bass hum, bass clarinet, and found sound samples, the group created a record breathed like the dirty inner-neighborhoods. They weaved through more ambient tracks as well as ripping up the place during a couple other moments, keeping the listener just paranoid to wonder what's going to happen next.

Enregistreur finds the group re-vamped as a trio, but taking much of the same sounds of the original and creating something even more claustrophobic. If their first disc was a soundtrack for a slimy city teeming with life, this one might be the soundtrack for the only survivor of a nuclear winter finally crawling back out of their hole and wandering around the now-deserted place. It's creepy as hell, and oozes a mood so cold and dark that listening to it almost immediately turns one's thoughts to the upcoming winter (and encourages it even more with song titles like "Ice Storm" and "My Country Is Winter").

The opening tracks "Gauss" and "Behind The Water Tower" just sort of ooze together in a rumble of low-end and subdued hip-hop live-drumming beats. A bass clarinet warbles in places like it's blurting through a stem filled with water before glitchy radio transmissions open "Voiceboxed." It's also on this track in which the group does some of their only busting loose on the disc. Aidan (of GY!BE) punches the drums into a frenetic pace (despite a few places of momentary breakdown) and guitar squalls courtesy of Mike Moya (aka the main man behind Hrsta) add some eerie uneasyness to the mix. The centerpiece of the album is the aforementioned "Ice Storm," in which elements slowly filter into the mix over the course of over 8 minutes, starting and ending with with twitchy static, but building to a melancholy crescendo in the middle. Like many tracks on the disc, it never reaches a furious peak, instead content to tug you along through a desolate wasteland of sound, while subtlely building slight peaks and valleys.

After a long ambient intro, "My Country Is Winter" again drops into a similar beat as "Voiceboxed," rocking out for the latter half before dropping into possibly the best track on the disc in "Silence Sur Le Plateau." The beat is another chunked-out hip-hop rumbler that gets tossed through the blender several times during the course of the track, and a high-pitched processed siren tone swarms through the track to spooky effect, offsetting nicely with the everpresent bass. As mentioned above, the release isn't quite as sonically varied as their first release, but through a more consistent sound evokes even more of a cabin-fever frenzy. By definition alone, that will probably drive many listeners batty, but for those seeking the colder side of sound, Exhaust still has plenty to offer.

Rating: 6.5