Earlier this week, The Foreign Exchange graced DC for the second time this year, spreading their magic on yet another capacity crowd at Black Cat.
Continue reading The Couch Sessions reviews The Foreign Exchange at Black Cat, Washington DC | Oct 25, 2009
Continue reading The Anti-Pop Blog reviews The Foreign Exchange at Black Cat, Washington DC | Oct 25, 2009
Though the album is largely instrumental in make-up, Durham, North Carolina vocalist Carlitta Durand adds her honey-dipped voice to four tracks, with two strategically placed at the beginning and end. Shibuya: City Lights Vol. 2 plays like a travelogue, with Durand acting as tour guide for the lush opener "Lose Your Way" ("We'll take a walk through the city tonight") before a visit to "Shibuya Station" sets us off on a dizzying dash through the city. Electric piano and synthesizers add splashes of saturated colour to the song's broken beat soundtrack, after which we make our way through the equally hectic "Crossing." Subsequent stops include visits to a "Meiji Shrine" and "The Inner Garden" before the "Bullet Train" eventually brings about "Departure" (whose laid-back, quasi-hip-hop swagger could perhaps intimate a return of sorts for Nicolay too).
Continue reading Textura reviews City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya
Source: Music Addikts4daLove
They say if you can make in NYC, then you can make it anywhere. Well, Music ADDIKTS made their way to NYC last weekend to get "Connected" with The Foreign Exchange. The excitement about this show had been building for months. On Friday, October 23rd, with show tickets in hand and flight schedules confirmed, 3 of your Music ADDIKTS - soulHIGH, LoverofSoul and 4daLove hit the Big Apple.Since we were all there, you get to hear all of our opinions about the show, from beginning, middle and end.
And so it begins....
After a quick dinner in the city, we headed to B.B. Kings at 10:45pm with every intention of getting a front-row spot for the 11:30 show. Wrong! The line was off the proverbial chain. Who knew that Foreign Exchange had such a fan base in NYC?? Like true fans we took our place in line and waited and waited.
Continue reading Music Addikts review The Foreign Exchange at B.B. King's Blues Club, New York | Oct 23, 2009
True Genius Requires Insanity reviews The Foreign Exchange at Black Cat, Washington DC | Oct 25, 2009
Last Sunday, the Foreign Exchange family brought their transcontinental soul sound to a packed house at the Black Cat. Many live performers, especially in support of albums with a host of guests, suffer when they try to recreate the record, sans featured players. The Foreign Exchange is having none of it, bringing vocalists YahZarah, Darien Brockington, and Carlita Durand and backing three-piece Zo! and the Els along for the ride. And not just any ride, but a singular experience: part concert, part musical therapy, part church revival, all designed to make the audience - as the album instructs - leave it all behind.
Continue reading True Genius Requires Insanity reviews The Foreign Exchange at Black Cat, Washington DC | Oct 25, 2009
The quartet started up that distinct musical intro that kicks off both Foreign Exchange albums, Connected and Leave It All Behind. But the track they would begin playing was actually off producer-mastermind Nicolay's latest, City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya. And, on cue, out came songstress Carlitta Durand to sing the album's gorgeous opener, "Lose Your Way."
Continue reading Pop Matters reviews The Foreign Exchange at B.B. King's Blues Club, New York | Oct 23, 2009
"This is Why I Write for Not Drugs" (on The Foreign Exchange at B.B. King's Blues Club, New York | October 23, 2009)
A group called the Foreign Exchange performed (if you don't know them, get to know them, they are incredible). They played at B.B. King's Bar and Grill in NYC for almost 2 hours straight. Phonte (one half of the Little Brother duo) held the mic in check and Nicolay (producer from the Netherlands/my favorite producer) led the 4-piece band.
The group itself is comprised of more than just the two. Something like the Mars Volta do, I assume (Cedric and Omar consider themselves the Mars Volta, while the other members are part of the Mars Volta Group), the Foreign Exchange, I guess do as well. They have a drummer, a bassist, another keyboardist (Nicolay plays keys as well), and three more vocalists that finish the actual group.
Continue reading "This is Why I Write for Not Drugs" (on The Foreign Exchange at B.B. King's Blues Club, New York | October 23, 2009)
The first suite of the album, "Shibuya Station" through "Satellite," immerses the listener in the environment of Shibuya ward, the hectic whirlwind of the train station, its busy intersections and rain falling in the park. The second suite takes you on a tour of ancient and modern day landmarks from "Meiji Shrine," a mystic instrumental reflecting the shrine dedicated to Tokyo's Emperor Meiji and his wife, to "Omotesando," a breezy track named after the ritzy shopping district. Throughout the journey, Shibuya is given the "New York, New York" treatment with the bombast of an electronic Broadway musical mixing with the whimsy of touching down in the big city for the first time. Along with Foreign Exchange band member Zo! on keys, Carlitta Durand's seductive vocals add perfect accents to the airy compositions.
Part video game, part jazz rock fantasyland, if Nicolay's sonic travelogue is to be believed, Shibuya is a land steeped in rich history as it seizes firm hold of an unbounded future. No matter where you are, the intricate layers of Shibuya transport you to another place.
Four gorgeous Shibuya-themed wallpaper designs by Tobias Rose of Kompleks Creative!
Source: Kompleks Creative
Last week, we informed you that The Foreign Exchange is nominated in four different categories of the 2009 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards: Independent Album of the Year ('Leave It All Behind'), Song of the Year ("Daykeeper"), Female Vocalist of the Year (Yahzarah) and Duo or Group of the Year. The SoulTracks committee has now narrowed down each category to seven finalists, and we have just learned that The Foreign Exchange is a finalist in all four of those categories!
Between October 23 and November 8th, SoulTracks' readers will be voting for this year's winners. If you're not a registered SoulTracks user but want to vote for The Foreign Exchange you can still sign up and receive a ballot by email. The 2009 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards will be broadcast on December 7th at 8:00 p.m., hosted by our good friend Jodine Dorce of Jodine's Corner.
For more information on the 2009 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards and how to vote, visit SoulTracks.
Source: Musik AddiktsRecently Music Addikts got a chance to kick it with Nicolay and Phonte of The Foreign Exchange. The two originally met through Okayplayer.com and completed their first album as a group before even meeting face-to-face. Although their meeting was a little unconventional, the studio chemistry between these two is evident in the Hip-Hop infused "Connected" as well as the more mellow R&B charged "Leave it All Behind". Whether rapping or singing the end result is the same...a fix that any ADDIKT can appreciate. If you aren't familiar with The Foreign Exchange let the Music Addikts introduce you to one of our favorite groups in this exclusive interview. For all you long time fans go below the jump to find out what artist F.E. would love to collaborate with, their thoughts on Twitter and what's next for them as a group as well as solo artists. Drop us a line if you enjoyed the interview and even if you didn't.
Continue reading Music Addikts interview The Foreign Exchange
First things first, this LP has Nicolay venturing far from the soulful bounce that can be found on the first one and a half installments of the City Lights series . It's evident that along with he and Phonte's critically acclaimed second installment as Foreign Exchange, Nicolay began to change his style from space age bounce to disco-dance groove. But it's all to the good, Nicolay's new found vision is a refreshing journey of live instrumentation and programmed drum beats. Tranquil beats like "Rain In Ueno Park" and "Omotesando" are reasons I believe Nicolay's a master of his craft. However, it's tracks like "Satellite" and "Saturday Night," which features Carlitta Durand, that secure this record a spot in Express for Men and crowded techno club's rotation's. But, aside from a few hiccups, Nicolay does a stellar job leading listeners off the trail of breadcrumbs he's scattered over the past few. Shibuya certainly breathes a breath of fresh air into the world of sped up soul samples and boom-bap drum breaks.
Source: Grown Folks MusicA few months ago I was casually perusing my twitter feed when a few buzzwords flashed upon my screen: Prince, ?uestlove, Purple, to say the least I was intrigued. Upon further investigation I was pleasantly surprised to hear (and download for free on nicolaymusic.com) an incredible take on the Prince classic "Take Me With U". "Purple Flip" is a collaborative effort between the aforementioned ?uestlove, Nicolay, ZO!, Phonte and Carlitta Durand it was my first and brief introduction to The Foreign Exchange family. I filed a card in my mental rolodex and made sure to follow the tweeters in question. Fast Forward a few months and I have now added a new buzzword to my musical vocabulary: SHIBUYA.
City Lights Vol. 2: SHIBUYA is the latest offering from Nicolay, the multi-instrumentalist/producer/DJ and one half of The Foreign Exchange with rapper/singer/songwriter Phonte. This marks the fourth solo outing for Nicolay and is the third recording in a series of projects (Time: Line and Leave It All Behind) influenced by his first visit to Tokyo in 2006.
Continue reading Grown Folks Music reviews City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya
Source: Tha RecipeTha Recipe had a chance to talk with Nicolay, (the Dutch Master and ½ of the Foreign Exchange), on the 1 year anniversary of their ground breaking project "Leave it All Behind". We talked about his new solo album Shibuya, City Lights Vol 2, life on the road, and what's coming up next for him, Foreign Exchange, as well as other artists performing under the Team Foreign Exchange banner.
TR: Congratulations on the one year anniversary of 'Leave It All Behind'. The baby is growing up!
Nic: Thank you, I can't believe it's been a year already. It's cool to see an album reach a milestone like 1 year and still have relevancy.
Continue reading Tha Recipe interviews Nicolay
A six-minute celebration of everybody's favorite night of the week, it's simply structured into two halves, an aerodynamically smooth build and a propulsive release supported by a gravelly bass engine. It's glossily atmospheric, a soundtrack to city lights rolling rapidly over car winshields. It's also unabashedly cosmopolitan and feminine, its streamlined sheen all the more enveloping when Nicolay drops a more compulsively jacking rhythm for the last minute, a whirring rush of tastefully restrained, classy hedonism.
A comprehensive list of physical and digital music retailers that carry City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya.For your convenience, we have put together a comprehensive list of physical and digital music retailers that carry City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya. The list is as complete as possible and will be updated frequently. If you have a hard time finding the album in your area, please don't hesisate to leave a comment and/or to contact us via email, so that we can help you find your copy.
As always, thank you very much for your support!
Continue reading Where to buy City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya [Updated 10/13]
Nicolay's keyboard sampler melodies are opulent, profound, and sometimes melancholic. On songs like "Rain in Ueno Park", a feeling of entranced nostalgia is created from the sounds of rapid rainfall, giving off the visual of being alone in the city where the rain dissipates just as it approaches dusk. The more upbeat songs like "Saturday Night" and "Wake Up In Another Life" are paired with house beats and vocals from Carlitta Durand, whose gentle and airy vocals are dreamlike and familiar.
Continue reading Beyond Race Magazine reviews City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya
On this eclectic release, Nicolay is free to indulge his free-wheeling love of electronica, which occasionally has popped up on previous release and collaborations. On City Lights Vol. 2 he goes full force displaying a swirl of house grooves, nu-jazz, and downtempo electronica that is as musically complex and emotionally rich as any of the all-vocal albums he has produced. But never fear, there are vocals to be found, with vocalist Carlitta Durand popping up on four tracks spread out throughout the album. The first single "Lose Your Way" drips with urban melancholy with lyrics that speak of finding one's place in the big city. Yet the album will be most remembered for the sexy house cut "Saturday Night", a finger-snapping groove that should be getting spins from the world's best jocks for its catchy lyrics and funky breakdown. On the instrumental tip, the future funk of "Mieji Shrine" is sure to get heads nodding.
For fans of the Foreign Exchange this album may take getting used to, but for fans of Nicolay, this album, with its varied assortment of experimental beats, will be a welcome addition to their collection.
Proof that Nicolay, truly is a beatsmith who can fill many voids. A Jack of all trades who for once can profess to be a master of all of them. 99% of Instrumental albums, whatever the genre, are simply a collection of beats that may or may not have been picked up by one artist or another if their producer had so chosen. Volume 1.5, as good as it is, falls under this beat collection mantra thanks to its Hip Hop backbone. Shibuya is one of the few that are created with a purpose from the outset. The key to this albums appeal is its constantly changing landscape. There's a hint of everything from Electro to Nu Jazz and almost everything in between.
Continue reading The Find Magazine reviews City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya
The group's last album Leave it All Behind (2008) is more R&B and less hip hop than its debut album Connected (2004). Yet, Nicolay said fans shouldn't think of the latest album as an abandonment of hip hop.
Continue reading Baltimore Performing Arts Examiner interviews The Foreign Exchange
Nominees named for 2009 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards: The Foreign Exchange grabs four nominations!
One of the most popular soul music websites in America, SoulTracks, announced their nominees for the 2009 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards today. The Foreign Exchange is nominated a total of four times, in the following categories: Independent Album of the Year ('Leave It All Behind'), Song of the Year ("Daykeeper"), Female Vocalist of the Year (Yahzarah) and Duo or Group of the Year!
For more information on the 2009 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards and how to vote, visit SoulTracks.
In a series of blogs titled 'Postcards From Shibuya', Nicolay explains what the inspiration was for his new album and how its songs came together.Electronic/dance music continues to be a big influence on me, as evidenced by the 'City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya' album in general, and "Saturday Night", featuring the fabulous Carlitta Durand, in particular. While putting together the final configuration, Phonte convinced me to include the full 6-minute version, and I am glad he did. "Saturday Night" became the centerpiece of the album.
Best listened to LOUD!
Until next time,
Listen now on Last.fm:
Saturday Night feat. Carlitta Durand
A Ride Under The Neon Moon
Big up to the homie DJ Anthony Valadez for adding 'City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya' to KCRW (Southern California's leading National Public Radio affiliate)'s DJ Picks for the month of October. More on Anthony Valadez, who also DJ-ed all three Roxy Theatre performances of The Foreign Exchange this year, on his website.
The Foreign Exchange is taking a little break from touring for a hot minute, but when they crank it back up again in a few weeks we got you covered with free tickets. Which means that Bouncers in Baltimore, New York City and Washington, DC will have a chance to get the hookup from SoulBounce and FE when they hit those cities. If you live in Bmore, NYC or DC and have yet to experience the live artistry of Phonte, Nicolay, YahZarah, Darien Brockington, Carlitta Durand, Zo! and The Els, then now is your chance.
Click here to visit SoulBounce and submit your entry!
Imagine, the sounds of people bustling, the sight of the lights, the smell of...awwwww Japanese food flowing up the nostrils..that tingly sensation that makes you feel all warm inside.
That is what I feel, when I listen to Nicolay's Citys Lights Vol.2 Shibuya.
Its absolutely amazing what music can do to the soul. It only works if you open up. Corny and weird as it is. It will work every time.