Exo 4 | Mutopia

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Avant Garde: Sound Art Rock: Extended Jams Moods: Instrumental
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by Exo 4

"A hypnotic experience!" "Head Music Lives!" Defying genre and convention, this dreamy, dynamic adventure features tasty ensemble playing over deep, trancey grooves, creating a sonic landscape for your wandering mind. This music is huge.
Genre: Avant Garde: Sound Art
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sea Jay
10:17 $0.99
2. Plasma
11:14 $0.99
3. Doktor K
12:25 $0.99
4. Pac Mango
6:44 $0.99
5. Meltdown
8:21 $0.99
6. Permutation
13:58 $0.99
7. Yogo Tibeti
6:06 $0.99
8. Moonrise
4:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Exo 4 combines new technology, improvised music and mesmerizing visuals to create a stream-of-consciousness environment for the audience. Exo 4’s ethereal soundscapes utilize elements of avant garde electronica, progressive rock, freeform jazz, and ambient sound sculpture. The result stimulates the imagination and transports the audience to another plane by means of a multi-sensory presentation. It is a journey of discovery for all in attendance, with Exo 4 providing the soundtrack for this experience. Exo 4 is dedicated to the exploration and implementation of music and art to create a free, transcendental environment for the listener.

EC Mars plays a Yamaha SV1 electric violin connected to a Digitech RP7 multi-effects processor, Boss Loop Station and Fishman amplifiers, enabling him to simulate cellos, string sections and other instruments, then create layered loops in real time, which can be further manipulated. Having performed in orchestras, various ensembles and rock bands, Mars is the musical director, stage/lighting designer, and one of the founders of Exo 4.

Jim Curtis performs on a Fender Five string, Pedulla Five string or Carvin six-string Fretless bass guitar, running through a Korg Bass Effects pedal and Hartke amplification. Past experience performing rock, progressive rock, metal, reggae, afro beat and blues is what fuels Curtis' groove. He is always exploring new territory and adds to the overall sound of Exo 4 with his expertise, vast knowledge of musical styles, and innovative approach.

TWK Stratosphere plays an American Fender Roland-ready Stratocaster through a Digitech GNX-3 processor and Roland GR-30 Guitar Synthesizer. TWK’s years of playing rock, country, blues and his own various compositions have resulted in the fiery licks and incredible effects he now employs in Exo 4.

Gregg Garlock (G-Teck) has created a hybrid drum set of acoustic and electronic components which can be played in combination or in any configuration. Using a drum machine to produce original compositions for the band to use as a “sonic canvas,” G-Teck also sends the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Information) to a synthesizer engine where he can change the frequency, modulation, etc. He has a variety of electronic units to tweak sounds and create “otherworldly” effects, all controlled by a master mixing board, where he can bring elements into and out of the music at any time. He also uses a sampler, on which prepared sounds can be activated, changed, looped and manipulated within the framework of the musical piece. He also brings the ability to launch spoken word, sound effects and other programmed material via digital compact disc and mp3 players. G-Teck is bridging the gap between rhythm, melody, composition, and improvisation with this unique, modern array of drums, percussion, and electronica.

Every Exo 4 performance is a relevant, unique presentation, created for a specific space and time. It is a spontaneous, original EVENT that exists only in the here and now, given the transitory nature of live, improvised art. Exo 4 uses music and multimedia presentation to create a new dimension of exploration and imagination.




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Mutopia Takes You Places Without Leaving Your Seat
Exo 4’s album Mutopia showcases a jam band from outer space. Call it electronica, call it improvisational, call it chill – but get comfortable and let Mutopia wash, pulse and surge over you. Like abstract painting, it’s hard to describe music like this without sounding like a jerk who’s reaching too far for words but I’ll give it a shot. I’ve also never seen Exo 4 perform live, which I’m told truly completes the atmospheric experience they’re trying to create. But for the time being, I’m going by sound alone.
Mutopia starts off with Sea Jay, a writhing vintage sound (I feel the 1960s) peppered by bongos of all things. This transitions into Plasma with its jangly drum opening that slowly builds up layers of funky fusion reminiscent of Brand X. Doctor K, easily my favorite track, comes next with its almost traditional rock percussion line and a continuously building melody that takes you somewhere (but nowhere in particular).
The next 4 tracks – Pac Mango, Meltdown, Permutation, and Yogo Tibeti – shed most musical structure. Pac Mango is bouncy and full of effects in the Pink Floyd Ummagumma style. Meltdown is even odder where the baseline creates a canvas on which the violin and guitar interplay. Then in Permutation we lose even the canvas and get a true formless soundscape that eventually transitions to more of a standard interplay between guitar and violin. Yogo Tibeti is where I got a little lost as the tune never quite got going, an issue I have with Pat Metheny on Orchestrion. Yogo Tibeti also captures a sense of time and place that for me sounded like Haight Ashbury.
Moonrise wraps up (and almost wakes up) Mutopia quite nicely with a very bluesy guitar. Imagining being at one of their gigs and departing the club on this note, I’d almost expect the track to be called sunrise.
So if you like music that’s off the beaten path, that creates a mood rather than movement, and that relaxes the body while stimulating the mind, give Exo 4’s Mutopia a listen.
Caveat: I am a schoolmate of violinist EC Mars but years of separation should keep me honest.