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ManMade/Stargazer Tour · The Carlyle Club, Alexandria VA
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Sat Aug 22, 2015 | Doors: 7:00 PM
ManMade/Stargazer Tour · Baltimore Soundstage, Baltimore MD
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Nicolay - City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto



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OUT NOW: Nicolay - City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto
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in: News

The Foreign Exchange - Tales From The Land Of Milk And Honey. 8/21/15 on +FE Music.

by +FE on July 7, 2015 at 12:00 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange - Tales From The Land Of Milk And Honey
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in: Releases

Nicolay - City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto

by +FE on May 18, 2015 at 8:49 AM · Comments
Nicolay - City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto
"City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto" is the upcoming solo release by Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist/producer Nicolay of independent soul duo The Foreign Exchange. "Soweto" is an ode to the South African township and it's neighboring city of Johannesburg, the site of The Foreign Exchange's triumphant South African debut performance in 2014. The 10-song set features contributions by Phonte, Carmen Rodgers and Tamisha Waden. "City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto" drops 6/9/15 on +FE Music.
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in: Reviews

SoulBounce reviews City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto

by +FE on July 19, 2015 at 1:54 PM · Comments
There is something about the sights and sounds of South Africa that acts as a muse for artists, from the Graceland album by Paul Simon to the latest work by Idris Elba. The impact of South African culture was no different for Nicolay, of the SoulBounce-certified collective The Foreign Exchange, who used it as the creative spark for his latest solo project, City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto. As with City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya, which contains his musical reflections on Tokyo, Soweto is Nicolay's vessel to articulate the richness of his South African experience. While some people show you travel photos after their journeys, Nicolay shares stories with beautiful instrumentals.

City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto is grounded in a combination of soulful house and electronic sounds, along with Nicolay's distinctive interpretation of South African percussive sounds. The album fluctuates between a vibrant house music experience to much more subdued mid- to downtempo cuts that at certain points almost take on ambient vibes. The more vibrant side is found on tracks like "Tomorrow," "It's in the Way You Smile" and the sonically fluid and rich "Day Dreams," which is reminiscent of the music of Roy Ayers.

Continue reading SoulBounce reviews City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto

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in: Reviews

IndyWeek reviews City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto

by +FE on July 11, 2015 at 9:11 AM · Comments
The City Lights series, by The Foreign Exchange producer Nicolay, transforms his travels into obliquely personal instrumentals. The albums are about a place's effect on him, not some cheap cherry-picking of ethnic sounds set to a beat. Nicolay's background is rooted in a complex cultural give-and-take, so these are transmissions from someone who grew up in the Netherlands but loves American funk, soul, house and hip-hop, living in North Carolina and making music about South Africa. Global house music is often tasteful, but rarely this mindful.

Continue reading IndyWeek reviews City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto

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in: Interviews

The Foreign Exchange's Nicolay tours to find new inspiration (via IndyWeek)

by +FE on July 11, 2015 at 8:38 AM · Comments
Phonte Coleman and Matthijs "Nicolay" Rook keep their distance.

Together, they've made several albums, toured the world, been nominated for a Grammy and built a little independent empire under the name The Foreign Exchange. But Coleman raps and sings from Raleigh, while the Dutch-born Nicolay lives in Wilmington. The space between them must be fertile, as they both pursue separate artistic offshoots. Coleman has his hip-hop and TV endeavors, while Nicolay has just released his expansive fourth solo album, City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto, in which he offers up a Euro-soul take on South Africa's native rhythms.

After The Foreign Exchange's May 2014 performance in Johannesburg, the group left the city by way of the colorful Nelson Mandela Bridge, pictured on Soweto's cover. The city's bridge, house music, people, Zulu language and the unexpected pandemonium surrounding their performance there inspired Nicolay when he sat down to make the first City Lights set in six years.

From Wilmington, Nicolay spoke about the thought process behind the record and how he hopes to avoid the pitfalls of Prince and Paul McCartney.

Continue reading The Foreign Exchange's Nicolay tours to find new inspiration (via IndyWeek)

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in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! feat Carmen Rodgers at Kranzberg Arts Center, St. Louis MO | Aug 8, 2015

by Aimee Flint on July 6, 2015 at 2:08 PM · Comments
Saturday, August 8, 2015 | Doors: 7:00 PM
Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63103 | (314) 533-0367

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in: Interviews

We Be Spirits interviews Nicolay

by +FE on July 4, 2015 at 5:54 PM · Comments
Nicolay is one of the most eclectic and innovative music producers around, full stop. His first notable achievement as producer came in 2004 after Connected was released - the debut album of The Foreign Exchange, of which he is half. The album was famously recorded with the "exchange" of electronic files across the Atlantic; the artists meeting only after it had been finished. He has since gone on to cover new and exciting musical ground releasing albums as a solo artist, as well as part of TFE.

Just as comfortable in a studio setting as in live performance, this gifted Dutch musician, who now resides in North Carolina, recently spoke openly to me about topics such as how both Prince and Thundercat inspire him, the special working relationship he shares with Phonte (his partner in The Foreign Exchange), his opinion on the current wave of African electronic music, and how he views spirituality in terms of his creativity. Read on and be enlightened.

Continue reading We Be Spirits interviews Nicolay

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in: Reviews

Textura reviews 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto'

by +FE on June 29, 2015 at 8:37 AM · Comments
Nicolay has traveled a long way, both literally and figuratively, since the days he went by the name Matthijs Rook in his Utrecht, Netherlands homeland. Not all that many years ago, he was issuing hip-hop jams on a release such as Here (BBE, 2006), but over time his music has undergone a substantial metamorphosis, as exemplified by the albums he's released with Phonte under The Foreign Exchange name and perhaps even more dramatically the Nujazz-styled albums he's issued in the City Lights series. Six years ago, the second installment, City Lights, Vol. 2: Shibuya, distilled into musical form the visceral thrill associated with a visit to Tokyo, and now this latest volume does much the same whilst displacing the geographical focus to South Africa.

Continue reading Textura reviews 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto'

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in: Upcoming Shows

Anthony David + Zo! + Carmen Rodgers at Baltimore Soundstage, Baltimore MD | Aug 22, 2015

by Aimee Flint on June 24, 2015 at 11:07 AM · Comments
Saturday, August 22, 2015 | Doors: 7:00 PM
Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202 | (410) 244-0057

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in: Upcoming Shows

Anthony David + Zo! + Carmen Rodgers at The Carlyle Club, Alexandria VA | Aug 21, 2015

by Aimee Flint on June 23, 2015 at 5:51 PM · Comments
Two shows: 7:30pm & 10:30pm

Friday, August 21, 2015 | Doors: 6:30 PM
The Carlyle Club, 2050 Ballenger Ave, Alexandria, VA 22314 | (703) 548-8899

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in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! feat Carmen Rodgers at Brinsons, Memphis TN | Aug 6, 2015

by Aimee Flint on June 23, 2015 at 5:23 PM · Comments
Thursday, August 6, 2015 | Doors: 7:00 PM
Brinsons, 341 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 | (901) 524-0104

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in: Reviews

Songs We Love: Nicolay, 'The Brightest Star' (via NPR)

by +FE on June 15, 2015 at 7:20 AM · Comments
Nicolay Rook, half of the progressive-soul duo The Foreign Exchange, has once again stepped out and produced a solo album. Earlier this week, he released the third installment in his City Lights series, City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto. Conceived after The Foreign Exchange's first trip and tour to South Africa last year, the album is a breezy, atmospheric romp through that country's sounds, with lush and vibrant melodies set off by airy textures.

This aesthetic is on full display in "The Brightest Star," which finds Rook showcasing the vocals of his Foreign Exchange cohort Phonte Coleman and frequent collaborator Carmen Rodgers, both of whom sound assured and distinctive. Geared toward a summertime vibe, the groovy rhythms and robust melodies prove that it's a soundtrack for all seasons.

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in: Blogs

Nicolay Shares A Track-By-Track Breakdown Of His New Album 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto'

by +FE on June 10, 2015 at 5:35 PM · Comments
Nicolay Shares A Track-By-Track Breakdown Of His New Album 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto'
The Dutch producer explains each song on the new installment in his City Lights series.
On Tuesday, Nicolay released his new solo album, 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto'. 'Soweto' is an ode to the South African township and it's neighboring city of Johannesburg, the site of The Foreign Exchange's triumphant South African debut performance in 2014. In this track-by-track breakdown, Nicolay shares the background behind each of its 10 tracks.

Continue reading Nicolay Shares A Track-By-Track Breakdown Of His New Album 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto'

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in: Interviews

Nicolay wraps his experiences abroad into a jazzy album (via Star-News)

by +FE on June 10, 2015 at 7:55 AM · Comments
It was around 3 a.m. one morning in May of last year when the Wilmington-based musician Nicolay and his neo-soul band, The Foreign Exchange, crossed Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, South Africa.

They were dead tired from being on tour, and only hours earlier had played a sold-out show for fans they didn't know existed.

"We'd never seen that kind of pandemonium, before or after," he said. "It was wild, Beatles-esque in that we couldn't hear (for) the entire two hours. The reception was as warm you could imagine ... These people knew all of our music and we had no idea."

The image of the multi-colored bridge remained in Nicolay's mind when he was recording "City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto," his third solo album, scheduled for release on June 9.

Continue reading Nicolay wraps his experiences abroad into a jazzy album (via Star-News)

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More recent entries
Songs We Love: Nicolay, 'The Brightest Star' (via NPR) in: Reviews
Nicolay Shares A Track-By-Track Breakdown Of His New Album 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto' in: Blogs
Nicolay wraps his experiences abroad into a jazzy album (via Star-News) in: Interviews
Nicolay - The Secret in: Music
Pitchfork reviews 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto' in: Reviews
AllMusic reviews 'City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto' in: Reviews
Nicolay - The Brightest Star / Afterglow in: Releases
Nicolay - City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto in: Releases
The Foreign Exchange (and Soul) Ride Again at Club Tequila Urban (via HoustonPress) in: Reviews
Trailer: On Tour With The Foreign Exchange (via Suite Sessions) in: Video

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