Wouter Snoei (born 26th of August 1977) and Wouter Kalkhoven (born 1st of June 1976) have composed and performed music together since 1984. Wouter Kalkhoven (WK) started playing the guitar in 1984 at the local music school. That's where he met Wouter Snoei (WS), who played the harp.
Later on they got into the electronic domain when WS (or actually his dad) bought a Roland JV80 synth in 1991. Combined with the Mac Classic, which was already settled in the family, this was their first base for MIDI experiments. After some years of playing around with an ever growing set of studio equipment and experience, a first release was done by WS (together with a friend DJ called Nills) on Outland Records late 1995.
Soon after that, x(eptional arrived on the scene. Their first live performance as such took place on the 4th of november 1995 at a select "First Born" party at Club 114 in Amsterdam. Their success that night led to appearances at various prime events, including the prestigious New Years eve party at the Roxy in Amsterdam. The following intense period in the studio resulted in demos which were sent out to amongst others Steve Green, host of x(eptional's favourite club night: Lucid Interval at Mazzo Amsterdam.
Lucid Recordings was then based at the club and soon after this the trance techno epic "The Dark Waves" appeared on the Lucid compilation EP Collected. This was followed by live performances in Mazzo and their own EP on Lucid: "Présence".
WS did releases on Outland/Spiritual Records with Nills, resulting amongst others in a place on the soundtrack of the Dutch movie "Naar De Klote" (Wasted). This lead to a publishing deal being made with 2P'sW Music as "Primordial Publishing".
Breakbeats, drum & bass and trip-hop have had an increasing role in x(eptional's music since this period. Their music has left the old four-to-the-floor sound behind in favour of an infectiously funky sound, which has proved itself time and time again on recordings. They continued to develop their music live at major Dutch venues like Effenaar (Eindhoven), Paard (The Hague), Doornroosje (Nijmegen), Tivoli (Utrecht) and Paradiso (Amsterdam) as well as selected smaller gigs. They also re-introduced the harp into their music by using it as a solo instrument in their live set.
In mid '97, x(eptional attracted the attention of organisers from the "Grote Prijs Van Nederland" (Grand Prix of the Netherlands). The competition for this major award for encouraging new dance talent in Holland took place in early October of 1997 and was won with the unanimous vote of the jury by x(eptional.
Early 1998 The Wheel EP was released on Lucid Recordings. After this some more gigs took place and the x(eptional website was started up. Mid-summer 1998 Wouter and Wouter made a remix for Mazzo's new Quaint label of "Blown-up" by Streamer, which was released in England on Dust to Dust Recs.
Autumn 1998, x(eptional participated in the Heineken Crossover Awards. This competition is held in Holland in eight different places across the country. A CD was released with tracks of all the contestants, including the x(eptional track "Inflatable Trees". In this competition they won the second prize, after The Postmen, a band that already had been commercially successfull in the Netherlands. At the final night, x(eptional proved to have found an original and innovative way of mixing electronic breakbeat-influenced music with violins and cello.
In 1999, Frans van der Hoeven, a double bass player who is particularly involved in the jazzscene, joins x(eptional.
April 2000, they perform at the Crosslinx festival in Vredenburg in Utrecht and the Enschede Muziekcentrum along with musicians from the Asko-ensemble (tuba, horn, trumpet and percussion). Speedy J, Eboman and Human Beings were also part of the program of this experimental festival, where electronic and classical music are combined.
During the closing party of the Julidans festival in Paradiso July 2000, singer Mariecke van der Linden and guestmusicians David Rothschild and David Rockefeller (trumpet and trombone) join Wouter and Wouter live on stage for a one-off. In 2001 x(eptional are joined by female singer Tyrah Morena, who is bound to stay, as well as Frans van der Hoeven. At the start of 2003, two tracks will be released on the Fonky Fibe-label, which is run by dj Rob Boskamp.