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The Foreign Exchange at Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC | Apr 17, 2009

by +FE on April 27, 2009 at 10:11 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange at Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC | Apr 17, 2009

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in: Media » Photos

The Foreign Exchange at Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC

by +FE on April 27, 2009 at 7:30 AM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange at Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC

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Inside The Producer's Studio: Making "Daykeeper" (2/2)

by +FE on April 22, 2009 at 10:09 AM · Comments
Nicolay breaks down the production and mix of Daykeeper by The Foreign Exchange (from Leave It All Behind).
In his comment on the first part of Making 'Daykeeper', Eric Hirsh asked: "Any insight as to why both Connected and Leave It All Behind start with the same sound sequence (but both depart from it in different ways)?" Thanks for bringing that up, Eric; while discussing the origins of 'Daykeeper', I had unintentionally skipped over that intro sound, but it's an important element of both albums. I think it was Phonte's idea to bring back the sound that opens 'Connected' as a "sound logo" that would instantly identify the new album as a Foreign Exchange project. Since we were working with the "Leave It All Behind" concept, I wanted to take the original sounds, to let the listener know that The Foreign Exchange is "back", but develop them into a different, darker direction, to let the listener know that everything is not the same. At this point, the sound logo has begun leading a life of its own as we open all of our shows with it, and it always invokes quite a stir in the audience.

To get back on-topic, I wanted to mention that the mixing of a track isn't necessarily a separate process for me like it is for some others. Writing, arranging, playing and programming, recording and mixing are all part of the same simultaneous creative flow. And how do I know when a mix is done? When I have heard it over and over again and I no longer want to change or add anything. Sometimes it can take a week, sometimes it can take a month. And sometimes it can take a year. But eventually, there's always that moment of realizing that I'm there.

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in: Media » Video

The Foreign Exchange - Take Off The Blues (Official Video)

by +FE on April 21, 2009 at 11:26 AM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange - Take Off The Blues (Official Video)
The Foreign Exchange proudly present the video for the second single taken from Leave It All Behind

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The Foreign Exchange at MySpace Beyond The Sound | Double Door Inn, Charlotte NC

by +FE on April 20, 2009 at 11:36 AM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange at MySpace Beyond The Sound | Double Door Inn, Charlotte NC

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in: Interviews

The Last Broadcast interviews Nicolay

by +FE on April 16, 2009 at 12:06 PM · Comments
Hailing from the Netherlands, Nicolay has brought a new sense of style and grace to the world of Hip Hop. A sound that is smooth as silk and has enough beat that it can get your body moving. Music as unique and fantastic as his is compared to very few. Being a solo artists, one half of The Foreign Exchange Producer for numerous artists Nicolay brings a fresh new sound to the world of Hip Hop. He is as cool as his music and as nice as anyone can get. I had the privilege to talk with Nicolay, this is what he had to say.

Turtle: How are you doing today?

Nicolay: I'm not doing too bad today actually, it's a day like any other I'm just working on a few things. Just finishing up a few things so its not bad.

T: Can you give a little back story on how you became a producer?

N: I was actually the type to play in bands, that was my main musical reference point. It didn't always go the way I wanted it to. It wasn't paying the bills, so I decided to stop all of that, and just get a job. In the evening hours I more or less started producing for my own enjoyment. I never really intended doing more than that. Out of that freedom grew something that ultimately people really liked. So, really it was a matter of me almost stepping away from music to get back to it in a very different way.

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Gakcity.com backstage with The Foreign Exchange (Part 2)

by +FE on April 15, 2009 at 1:04 PM · Comments
Gakcity.com backstage with The Foreign Exchange (Part 2)
Jeremy Hassell of Gakcity.com interviews The Foreign Exchange backstage at their concert at Highline Ballroom in New York, NY March 8, 2009

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in: Upcoming Shows

The Foreign Exchange at Double Door, Chicago IL | Jun 7, 2009

by +FE on April 15, 2009 at 12:48 PM · Comments
Sunday, June 7, 2009 at
Double Door,

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in: Upcoming Events

Red Bull Music Academy Workshop Session with Nicolay at Talulla's, Chapel Hill NC | Apr 17, 2009

by +FE on April 15, 2009 at 12:35 PM · Comments
Friday, April 17, 2009 at
Talulla's,

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in: Upcoming Events

The Official Foreign Exchange Afterparty at Six Plates Wine Bar, Durham NC | Apr 18, 2009

by +FE on April 13, 2009 at 1:15 PM · Comments
Directly after the show at Cat's Cradle, come join The Foreign Exchange for the Official Raleigh/Durham Afterparty! (Bar closes at 2am, kitchen open until ....)

Saturday, April 18, 2009 at
Six Plates Wine Bar,

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Gakcity.com backstage with The Foreign Exchange (Part 1)

by +FE on April 12, 2009 at 1:53 PM · Comments
Gakcity.com backstage with The Foreign Exchange (Part 1)
Jeremy Hassell of Gakcity.com interviews The Foreign Exchange backstage at their concert at Highline Ballroom in New York, NY March 8, 2009

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Inside The Producer's Studio: Making "Daykeeper" (1/2)

by +FE on April 10, 2009 at 8:18 AM · Comments
Nicolay breaks down the production and mix of Daykeeper by The Foreign Exchange (from Leave It All Behind).
Backstory:

I came up with the basic track in november of '06, after coming back from my visit to Tokyo. Japan had made a huge impression on me and I was still in that state of mind, calling the track idea "Shibuya" before sending it over to Phonte to check out. I knew that it was very different from what we had done before, so I wasn't quite sure what to do with it and whether or not it would "fit", but when Phonte heard it, he knew that this was the direction that we were looking for and started to write to it. Not too long after, he recorded the hooks and verses together with Muhsinah and sent them back to me. I was so inspired by the song that I came up with the 3/4 section in the middle almost right away. In turn, Phonte and Muhsinah recorded their additional vocals to the middle section and with that, the song was complete.

The mixing process of this song specifically took well over a year, and if I remember correctly we went through at least a dozen different mixes before we had the final one. There's about 70 (!) tracks of vocals and about 40 more tracks of instruments in the session, so you can imagine that it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get everything balanced just right.

I'd like to acknowledge Khrysis for his stellar engineering of the vocal recordings as he does time and time again, to Soiree Records for the fine job mastering the album and a special thanks to my partner Phonte and to Muhsinah, who's duet on 'Daykeeper' will undoubtedly go into history as one of the great vocal performances of our generation. By now I must have heard the song hundreds of times, but it still gives me chills each time.

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Inside The Producer's Studio (Part 1): On using the computer

by +FE on April 7, 2009 at 8:32 AM · Comments
In this first part Nicolay explains why he uses a computer and which software he uses for what purpose.

Photo by Stevie Mack | Uploaded by Nicolay Music.

It doesn't really matter what you use, as long as you use it well.

That has been my motto throughout the years that I have been into making music. I have never been a purist or even a "gearslut", and I really don't believe that it matters much whether you use an MPC, an ASR10 or Fruity Loops to make your beats, or at this point, whether you run a laptop or a $100,000 studio. What matters only are the results, and you generally get the best results by using something that you are very familiar with.

My main reason for choosing the computer as a beatmaking machine was that I already owned one, and the music program that I knew how to use on it, called Modplug, was (and still is) free. Besides that I had a turntable, a CD player and a bass and some keyboards and at the time, it was all that I needed to get going. Over the years I have been able to slowly but steadily upgrade my setup, but at the center of it all there's still a computer running the same free program that I started out with.

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Inside The Producer's Studio (Prologue)

by +FE on April 3, 2009 at 8:36 AM · Comments
Nicolay is starting a new blog series aimed to provide an indepth look into the process behind his music production while breaking down specific tracks from his catalogue.

Photo by Stevie Mack | Uploaded by Nicolay Music.

The question that I get asked most is without a doubt, "What do you use?". I'm a fan and student of music first and foremost, and I have always been more than willing to answer that question, but I have found that it is impossible for me to do so in a MySpace or Twitter message using only a few sentences. Print and online articles and interviews don't always allow for indepth discussion, either. Fortunately, our new website finally gives me the platform to share the method to my madness, and so over the course of an indefinite number of installments, I'm going to break down the what, why and how of my music production setup. I will discuss my favourite pieces of hard- and software, my favourite ways of (ab)using them and the track(s) from my catalogue in which you can hear them at work. Because at the end of the day, it is all about the music.

Continue reading Inside The Producer's Studio (Prologue)

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FETV : The Foreign Exchange in Miami (Part 2)

by +FE on April 1, 2009 at 3:04 PM · Comments
FETV : The Foreign Exchange in Miami (Part 2)
The continuing adventures of The Foreign Exchange... on a boat.

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