Exile is one of the few producers who can work both for underground and mainstream artists without offending anybody or altering his style too much. Now his new LP 4 TRK Mind is in stores and shows once again; somewhere between Flying Lotus and DJ Premier, Exile found his unique style – disharmonic and chopped on the one hand, but melodic and complete on the other. So it does not come as a surprise that a lot of artists of distinction have been spitting on Exile’s production work over the last couple of years, like Mobb Deep, Akon, or Ghostface Killah. And if you listen to 4 TRK Mind you will find out that the Californian Producer born under the name of Aleksander Manfredi did it again. He managed the balancing act between harmonic beats that are mass compatible and sample-based chopping. For example there is Klepto, the first highlight of the LP where Exile mixes together piano, strings, and vocal samples to create a wonderfully melodic soundscape. And especially if you still dig his collaboration album Below The Heavens, with rapper Blu, you will discover a collection of formidable tracks on 4 TRK Mind. The song Younger Days sounds like part two of Blu’s I am…, and When Nothing’s Left (where Blu features) is just great. On the rest of the album you will hear a lot of similarities as well. Now only one question remains: Why would Exile decide to rap himself? That would not have been necessary. He may be a great producer but his rap skills can’t compete with the airiness of earlier mentioned Blu or the flow of someone like Ghostface. So a feature album was the better choice here. So that is just another reason to look forward to the recently announced second album with Blu. Until then you can just listen more closely to this great production work.