Petrola 80 is where hyperpop and UK bass music collide. This was clear when we previewed Yelzin’s debut release last year, and crystallises on the Danish label’s latest compilation: Exchange. It is the third in a triptych of releases (Embrace, Expand, Exchange) that sardonically references a secretive, snaky Microsoft business strategy uncovered by the US Department of Justice in the ’90s: “Embrace, extend, and extinguish”.
While the label isn’t out to monopolise and murder any competition, it isn’t afraid to perform sonic sneak attacks on its listeners. The word curveball is probably overused, but Petrola 80’s output is truly a full on bend-it-like-Beckham session. The 11 tracks (with contributions from Perko, Gramcry and Lyra Valenza) offer acrobatic melodies, painfully detailed sound design and moments of gut-wrenching beauty. In amongst folk siren-songs and gorgeous autotune, there are also breaks and subs aplenty. This is PC Music cooked inside a dub soundsystem.
Piag3t and Tristan‘s ambient piece feels like a trap tune where the beats and hard edges have been snuffed out, leaving pure atmospherics. It mirrors the album art: an idyllic, pastoral scene by Camille Corot that is asymmetrical to Petrola 80’s post-rave hyperpop fantasy. But The Met Museum’s panel description of the work says otherwise: “the landscape appears surprisingly natural, yet it is painstakingly composed”.
Exchange is out now on Petrola 80 | Buy it here