Salazar has spoken of his music's "Chicano flavour," which, on Chicanismo, surfaced on the choppy Latin drums of tracks like "Mama Paz" and "Sucio Beat." Aspirations For Young Xol rarely nods so directly to that sound. Instead, the mood is overcast, thanks in part to odd synth textures and discordant arrangements. On "Saturated Fear," pizzicato strings create disorienting spirals. "Bloodline," with its steamy cymbals and crackly synth particles, evokes hazardous material. "Prolonged Effect" switches between warm, fluid chords and jarring atonal slides.
The beatless tracks mark another departure from Salazar's usual sound. Of the three, "Dark Matter" and "Ode To Stinson" seem to allude to Underground Resistance—both tracks channel the "dark energy waves" of a similarly titled 1994 EP, as opposed to, say, the Galaxy 2 Galaxy sound with which Salazar tends to be associated. "Dark Matter"'s lost-in-space squelches and gothic harpsichords warn of some unseen threat. On "Ode To Stinson," a tribute to Drexciya's James Stinson, bright synth tones pierce mournful chords.
It's sometimes said that techno artists struggle to express themselves on the album format. Salazar's music, however, has blossomed on LPs. Chicanismo and Aspirations For Young Xol contain some of his best work. On cuts like "Xol's Pain" and "Dark Matter," Salazar takes naturally to grander, dramatic moods. The techno tracks show how fluid his style can be—mucky UR funk ("Orange Blossom Thump"), dubby chord rollers ("Pachuco Dub") and blissed-out melodies ("Aspirations For Young Xol") fit easily together. As an album inspired by family and heritage, Aspirations For Young Xol draws deeply from the feelings those themes supply.