exhibit 51
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exhibit 51

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The three track sampler which Exhibit 51 sent us is a taster of the album which they recently launched in The Sugar Club. So how does it work? The band claim that they create the song as they record it. Presumably they tune to the same key, but apparently that‘s all the preparation that goes into it. The fact that there is no set arrangement for the songs means that by default, they tend to build up gradually, as the different members find a fundamental part to contribute to the orchestration. The melodies tend to be simple, abstract, ambient and organic - with a loose chord structure and a time signature providing a superstructure for an amorphous body. The songs usually expire with varying degrees of order, some passing away gracefully and others protesting their death over four or 8 bars of organised chaos.

The first track is called ‘Galtox‘, which means.... well we‘re not sure exactly. Perhaps it‘s a new virility drug? The sound is a little bit Jean Michel Jarre on this, with a synth patch that is harmonically quite simple, playing a basic 4-note riff. The guitarist jumps in speculatively, with a quiet palm muted rhythm over the root note, while he tries to suss it out. The drummer chips in with a soft 16th rhythm on the hi-hats. The bassist noodles around quietly, trying a few abortive counterpoint melodies. A minute or so into the track, they reach a concensus. The drums come in full pelt and a groove is established, which morphs slowly through the track. The various elements of the track change subtly, sometimes returning to the original theme, but just as often carrying the other elements in a new direction.

‘Intentions‘ is a more moody piece with choral evolving string pads, an unpredictable antsy drum track and a bassline which walks erratically over a small palette of notes. Ambient music is generally meant to be experienced on a subliminal level, as in Brian Eno‘s seminal "Music for Airports". But ‘intentions‘ conveys such a strong, almost disturbing impression of disembodiment that the listener cannot listen passively.

The whole field of extemporisation has been popular in performance art and academic circles for years. I feel that generative music, using user defined algorithms and rules to instruct a computer/synthesizer on how to formulate a continuously evolving piece of music, may be the way of the future. Again Brian Eno forged new ground here, releasing "Generative Music 1" in 1996. This was a 12kb data file which played back on a custom piece of software (Koan by Sseyo), and was different every time it was played. Exhibit 51 went significant lengths extemporising an entire album, but they appear to just reproduce the recording on stage. I‘d like to see them exploring the idea of making the live performance as spontaneous as the recordings, as I feel the value of this artform lies in the performance aspect rather that in a static recording.

Overall, the music is interesting and thought provoking. Listen to this as a catalyst for your own creativity or put it on at a dinner party if the conversation is starting to ebb.
- Musician.ie


Discography

EP 'Exhibition' - Feb 2005
Album 'Take Zero' - April 2005 - Independent Release
2FM Dan Hegarty Live Sessions – 2006

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Bio

Exhibit 51 have been fine tuning their sound over the past few years... they have morphed to a more Electronic/Rock feel.

After a preview EP 'Exhibition' They released their debut album 'Take Zero' on independent release in 2005 and toured Ireland, including sell out shows in The Sugar Club, Whelans, The Village among others. They also supported the much acclaimed Hem in The Sugar Club to a packed house. This album was an innovative piece which showcased 12 kicking tunes that were extemporised i.e. written and recorded in the same take... hence the name 'Take Zero'. Previews are available on their website www.exhibit51.net. the album is also available for purchase online. Musician's review of EP on www.exhibit51.net/media/reviews/musician.htm

The success of Take Zero brought Exhibit 51 to the studios of RTE 2FM in 2006... invited to the Dan Hegarty Live Sessions show. Exhibit 51 belted out more hypnotic tunes much to the listeners delight... with Dan introducing the band as being up with the best sessions they have had on the show.

Exhibit 51 have been in the studio working on their next project... including 'Mao' and finalising their Visual Show featuring respected V Jay Al 'Q' Quigley.

They are ready to unleash their new sound and are planning a tour in September/October.

Watch This Space!

www.exhibit51.net