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BeMyFiasco - Where I Left You

October 15, 2021 at 12:36 PM · Comments

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Zo! & Tall Black Guy - Abstractions

April 2, 2021 at 9:41 AM · Comments

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Zo! & Tall Black Guy - Hold My Hand feat. Darien Brockington, Muhsinah and Phonte

March 23, 2021 at 9:59 AM · Comments

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Zo! & Tall Black Guy - Talkin' To Myself feat. BeMyFiasco

March 7, 2021 at 11:38 AM · Comments

in: Reviews

Zo! & Tall Black Guy Are Speaking Our Love Language With 'Talkin' To Myself' (via SoulBounce)

March 5, 2021 at 9:48 AM · Comments
Producers and musicians extraordinaire Zo! and Tall Black Guy have been teasing a collaborative project ever since working together on the song "Step Up Front" from Zo!'s 2019 album FourFront. The prolific pair are finally ready to give hungry fans a taste of what they've been cooking up with the release of "Talkin' To Myself," the first single from their forthcoming collection entitled Abstractions, which we are happily debuting in a SoulBounce exclusive world premiere."Talkin' To Myself" opens with a thick, slick bass line that lays the foundation for the track as guitar, synth, percussion, finger snaps and hand claps get added into the groove gumbo one-by-one. Just when you think you have things figured out and you're ready to break out a smooth two-step, Zo! and TBG drop in a broken beat tempo that commands you to bust all your moves on the dance floor. Singer BeMyFiasco floats over the sound bed as she sings about thoughts of love damn near driving her mad. "Love is / Hard to find / On my mind / All the time / It's reaching / Dangerous levels / That's when I started / Talkin' to myself," she sings, her buttery vocals melting into the music on the first verse. BeMyFiasco is joined on background vocals by none other than Phonte, but she has our complete attention throughout.Zo! and Tall Black Guy have a helluva jam on their hands with "Talkin' To Myself." They've come outta the gate with a winner and have us uber-excited to hear every single thing they've got coming on Abstractions. Additional details about the project are under lock and key right now, but keep an ear out for its release "soon" according to Zo!.
in: Reviews

Nicolay Ends His 'Analog Dreams' Series With 'A New World' (via SoulBounce)

December 15, 2020 at 6:15 AM · Comments

Now that he's given us calm with Lights In The Sky and a reason to move with Never Stand Still, Nicolay is ready to bring it all home. He does that with the release of his final installment in his Analog Dreams EP series, A New World. With each of the previous entries setting a particular mood, A New World has the task of sonically unifying the trilogy. It's a daunting task with two works that sound so much different from one another. However, A New World rises to that occasion.

A New World plays up to the dreamy quality of the trilogy with airy, relaxing vibes that are interesting and inviting. The set doesn't just sit there lounging, though, as it mirrors the laid-back feel of Lights In The Sky and mixes in the urgency of Never Stand Still. The unlikely pairing of sounds results in rich soundscapes that allow your mind to wander in them. This starts from the album's opener, the set's title track, which pairs a bubbly synth bass with atmospheric synths that seems calm at first. Soon, though, the drums pick up and we're transported to a head-nodding groove that bleeds into the next track, "Dream Sequence."

Switching from soothing tranquility to something more suitable to dance to seems to be the theme, as it's evidenced throughout the EP. That, fittingly, comes to an abrupt stop on "Into The Unknown." That particular track features a heavy electronic bass that ricochets between the speakers while a clatter of hi-hats keeps a steady rhythm. Final track "The First Light" then wraps things up with a familiar feeling groove that envelops the listener like a warm hug as it brings us home from our musical journey.

A New World might be the longest of the three EPs, but it feels just as intentional and acts as the perfect close to a much-loved series.

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Nicolay - A New World EP

December 14, 2020 at 8:46 AM · Comments

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in: Reviews

Nicolay Prompts Us To 'Never Stand Still' On New EP (via SoulBounce)

December 1, 2020 at 9:43 AM · Comments

With the release of the second installment of his Analog Dreams series, GRAMMY-nominated producer extraordinaire Nicolay has made it clear, once again, that he did not come to play. The aptly titled EP, Never Stand Still, gives his tribe of faithful followers everything they need to do just that. In just five tracks and 29 minutes, listeners are thrust into an almost trance-like energetic realm, a much-needed departure from the chaos of the current climate.

Described as a dedication to house music heads, we knew we were in for something different from Lights In The Sky, the series' first EP, about halfway through the first track. Just as we settled into the spirited "You Break It, You Buy It," our maestro seamlessly transitions to an equally intricate and intoxicating space before taking off completely on "First In Flight." Fan favorite "Nimbus" is up next with its deep, billowy essence, followed by the gleaming cadence of "Cristalix." The final track "Luna" feels more like an awakening with its vibrancy. Towards its ending, we hear a familiar melody and later find that the track was originally created back in the days of The Foreign Exchange's 2013 Love In Flying Colors album. While Nic shared the details of combining elements from the album interlude with the full-length instrumental, the result polishes off the EP with that signature +FE Music finish that places everything the camp touches a cut above the rest.

Check-in for your cosmic escape and give Nicolay's Never Stand Still EP a spin. Add the project to your collection from your preferred digital platform and purchase the high-resolution format on Bandcamp. Vinyl heads can get ready to pre-order the full Analog Dreams set on vinyl upon the release of the third and final installment, A New World.

in: Releases

Nicolay - Never Stand Still EP

November 28, 2020 at 6:28 AM · Comments

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in: Reviews

Nicolay Offers Calm In Trying Times On 'Lights In The Sky' (via SoulBounce)

November 17, 2020 at 8:52 AM · Comments

In a year that's featured its fair share of tragedies, a global pandemic, a contentious election and whatever else it wants to throw at us before 11:59 p.m. on December 31st, we could all use a break. Unfortunately, the aforementioned pandemic has most of us stuck in the crib in a strict quarantine. Music can be its own sort of getaway, though, especially when its from Nicolay. The producer and founding member of The Foreign Exchange has transported us to many places with his own solo work (especially his City Lights series). Now the music man is back with his short and sweet EP Lights In The Sky.

Nicolay, who we last heard from alongside The Hot At Nights on 2018's Glaciers, offers a brief snapshot into where he is musically over the EP's four songs. The electronic cool of "Starting Point" is the first thing to greet us when we press play, immediately enveloping us in atmospheric synth and digitized notes that seem to expand and contract as the song plays. That's followed by "Sooner Or Later," a collaboration with Creative Theory that melds the frenetic pace of drum and bass with jazz, crafting a brilliant soundscape for the vocalist to play around with while still keeping things surprisingly tranquil.

The set's second instrumental, "Thinking About You," splits the difference between the first two tracks. The icy calm returns with more ambient synth chords. They're joined by skittering programmed production with just enough hip-hop sprinkled in to keep your head nodding. That segues perfectly into the final track, "Lights In The Sky." Featuring his main man Phonte, "Lights In The Sky" has a hopeful feel as the singer/rapper beckons, "Don't close your eyes / See the lights in the sky." It's a fitting closer as it takes us to an optimistic place while we wait out the end of a pretty bitter year.

Short and sweet, Lights In The Sky is just enough to help us soothe our frazzled minds as we take inventory of a year like no other.

in: Releases

Nicolay - Lights In The Sky EP

November 16, 2020 at 8:35 AM · Comments

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in: Reviews

AllMusic reviews 'FourFront'

August 26, 2019 at 10:25 AM · Comments
Lorenzo Ferguson keeps to his triennial +FE Music release schedule with his fourth album for the label, issued after a documentary about the third one, other original music for film and television -- including pitch-perfect contributions to the satirical Sherman's Showcase -- and abundant collaborative work. From the title all the way down, FourFront has a composition like that of SunStorm, ManMade, and SkyBreak. Decked out with feel-good love and it-could-be-love songs tidily arranged over a sturdy post-disco/pre-new jack swing foundation, it similarly features a shifting cast of guest vocalists known and new to Zo! sessions. Among the familiar, most prominent is touring partner Carmen Rodgers on two highlights that sparkle. Also in the mix is Phonte, of course, either tightening the material in the background or duetting with one of the compatible new associates, Madison McFerrin, who elsewhere powers a delightfully featherlight if poignant bossa nova diversion. Ferguson continues to make incremental refinements and progressions, remarkably keeping it direct and replayable while adding detail and handling the bulk of the instrumentation on a level that verges on virtuosic. Whether written by the leader or the collaborators, the same can be said of the lyrics. Even the simplest romantic sentiments contain bright moments that stick out, like when Devin Morrison softly consoles that he'll "kick a silly freestyle, just to see you smile," or when Sy Smith bats her eyelashes with "I can see in your reflection that it's time to break the glass," signaling that she wants more than friendship. Strong finales have run throughout the Zo! discography, and there's another one here in "Step Up Front," a deep Afro-Latin house groove as high-spirited as anything by Masters at Work-related projects like Nuyorican Soul and Elements of Life. Moreover, it and the two preceding tracks add up to the finest three-track stretch on any Zo! LP. Ahead of the finish is "Crash," flirty machine soul fronted by Smith with discreet nods to Sly & the Family Stone, Shalamar, and Teena Marie. The succeeding penultimate number is the zigzagging slow jam "Sweat," which with Stokley's feverish hospitality can be heard as an answer song of acceptance.
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