Exchange Bureau
Gig Seeker Pro

Exchange Bureau


Band EDM Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Exchange Bureau - Global Get Down"

Over the years, there have been countless descriptors placed in front of “dance music” — “pop,” “Euro” and “intelligent” among them. Thanks to Detroit-based quintet Exchange Bureau, one more should be added to that list: sneaky. You might show up to watch ExB, but you’ll be dancing before you even realize what’s happening.

The band pay reverence and respect to a long line of musicians’ musicians (drummer Josh Crilley idolizes Mike Clark, one of the greatest skinsmen you’ve never heard of), and their intricate arrangements and attention to sonic detail (ExB member El-Mahdi Obeid’s distinctive keyboards and synths are so layered and textural they demand rapt attention and repeat listens) help ExB stand out as a band for active, educated listeners.

So what do they sound like? That’s a little tougher to pin down, even though their origins are decidedly local. “A lot of our inspiration and influences come from Detroit,” they say. “Growing up here, you can’t help but be influenced by Motown, obscure Detroit funk and jazz and Detroit electronic music.” Despite the stated prime presence of The D in ExB, one can’t help but hear their almost indefinable dance-jazz-fusion-world-funk as other-worldy enough to at the very least have come from some melting pot European city like Berlin or London. With El-Mahdi's keys and vocals and Crilley's drumming joined by Paul Katcher’s samples and synths, Mike Leonard’s guitar and Jared Sykes’ percussion, they just sound so … cultured.

“It’s hard to pigeonhole ourselves,” ExB admit when pushed to define their genre, “but our current local fanbase seems to consist of everyone from house heads to Detroit’s soul community, the local techno hippies to even Detroit’s punk rock scene. It’s beautiful that so many different people in so many different local scenes have supported us. However, it’s ironic that we haven’t seen as much support from Detroit as we have from Europe,” ExB continue, further confirming the global aspect — and appeal — of their sound. “We’ve been charted by everyone from Gilles Peterson, Jazzanova, Mark de Clive-Lowe and Bugz In The Attic, but still haven’t gotten any American radio play. We guess that says something about American radio stations and how accepting of non-mainstream music they are.”

Just don’t call ExB a funk band. “It almost gets overstated,” they say of that tag. “Our sound goes so much further than funk. As much as we are rooted in it, we try to expand as much as possible into every crate we can dig into.” The cratedigging analogy is apt. “With a couple DJs in the group, we know how to plan our sets with a DJ mentality,” they explain. “Nobody really needs all the between-song banter that slows a show down.”

That sort of continuity and cohesiveness carries over into ExB’s internal structure. “The idea of the Bureau is a collective,” they say. “We enjoy collaborations with other people, but the central core of the band is the Bureau, and what different people can contribute only furthers the whole sound. We also want to expand the core group into a record label ...”

In that vein, John Arnold’s remix of ExB’s “Spookie Dookie” will come out early next year on London’s Third Ear as part of the Detroit Beatdown 2 compilation, other ExB members are working on additional remixes, El-Mahdi has a solo EP in the works and the Bureau are finishing up their new album. But they still leave time to sneak up live and make you dance. - Real Detroit Weekly

"Detroit CityFest Report"

...Day 3 of our Fusicology showcase at CityFest had us up a little early to jam to Malik Alston’s new project, “This Music is Life” on the Jazz & Blues Stage. All warmed-up, we cruised with our brews on over to our Pure Detroit Stage to support our boys, Ayro & Arnold, otherwise known as Jeremy Ellis & John Arnold… you know, those crazy MPC-pokin’ dudes.

Next we really had to jet to the Main Stage to bounce with Lupe Fiasco, where we were nearly accosted by his enormous entourage (jeez, Lupe… is it really like THAT?), before we got into our jam side-stage, and skated out Batman-style back to the Pure D Stage for, in our humble opinion, the most not-to-be-missed set of the CityFest - the debut of the emerging new live-dance-funk band outta the D, Exchange Bureau. Do NOT , repeat : do not, sleep on these guys! EXB mos def got Second Ave’s groove on Friday night with mad props to DJ Seoul for rockin’ possibly the fullest crowd Second Ave. saw all week. Phew!

Detroit, we love you ;)

Whenever our souls are runnin’ dry, you always fill us right back up!

Written by Jocelyne Ninneman for -


Via Air Mail-Red Eye Flight - LP - ExchangeBureauMusic (Detroit) (Nov. ‘06)
“Spookie Dookie/Everybodymakeyobodymove” – 12”(Promotional White Label) – ExchangeBureauMusic (Detroit) (Mar. ‘07)
Detroit Beatdown (Volume 2) – Exchange Bureau Meets John Arnold – “Spookie Dookie” – Third Ear (London) (Early ‘08)



EXB cites diverse influences, from the atmospherics of Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk, the live energy of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, to the evolution of the bridge between Detroit’s soul and techno sounds. On record, the spirit and energy translate from beginning to end, but EXB are musicians with plenty of miles on their road cases, and the group thrive in the live experience, too. “Our perfect show is a sweaty, hot, packed house party, culminating with an open dialogue between the band and crowd,” they say.