Yes y’all… I (on the piano) along with my man Dre King (wurlitzer) were both featured on Kev’s new digitally released “Random Joints” EP on the album’s closing track “Lord Help Me”. Support this brotha… VERY consistent output.
I woke up this morning to the news that The Foreign Exchange will be playing a show out in San Francisco on Saturday, September 12th @ Yoshi’s. I hope to see my West Coast kats out there. Here are all of the details…
We will also be back in Los Angeles for TWO dates at the Roxy Theatre. Kats had so much fun playing the venue in June, we had to come back and do it TWICE. Click here for the details…
In addition to the August 8th date in Maryland this month (The Spirit Festival), there have also been stops added in Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Seattle. Here’s the info… Mark your calendars!
The Foreign Exchange @ The Athenaeum, Indianapolis IN
Saturday, August 15th, 2009
The Foreign Exchange @ Grog Shop, Cleveland OH
Sunday, August 16th, 2009
The Foreign Exchange @ Nectar Lounge, Seattle WA
Thursday, September 15, 2009
The Foreign Exchange in Los Angeles
Sunday and Monday September 13 & 14, 2009
Venue: The Roxy Theatre
Second of all, it is our great honor and pleasure to announce that Zo! and Carlitta Durand are now OFFICIAL artists on our Foreign Exchange Music imprint. *throws confetti*
Nic and I had always talked about the possibility of taking our partnership to the next level (I hate the word “label”), much like Jazzanova did with Sonar Kollektiv and how Jam and Lewis did with Flyte Tyme (for all my old heads out there…). When we decided to move full-speed ahead and form a production company, it seemed only right that our first artists would be two people we’ve been working with all along.
Zo! and Carlitta are much more than artists; they are family. Zo’s album “SunStorm” will drop early next year, and Carlitta Durand’s as yet untitled debut will come afterwards. I feel that Nic and I have set the bar pretty high with the level of quality and craftsmanship in our FE releases, and I have no doubt that Zo and Carlitta’s music will meet, if not surpass, that same standard. We treat their records with the same amount of love and detail as we do our own, and hopefully
upon listening, you’ll agree.
Be sure to send Zo! and Carlitta your love and well-wishes via their twitter and/or myspace pages.
Earlier today, the press release for Nicolay’s new album City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya was made public, which included the tracklisting and cover artwork. I appear on two of the joints with keyboard solos (“Crossing” and “Wake Up In Another Life”)… Check the write-up….
Shibuya is the new project from the creative mind of NICOLAY, better known as one half of THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE. The group (which includes rapper/singer Phonte) and their sophomore album Leave It All Behind (TFE/Hard Boiled; Oct. 2008), continues to gain momentum as the duo and their extended family of singers and musicians are currently touring the United States and Canada. Nicolay and Phonte’s countless performances together have added a new level of sophistication to their musical output, resulting in what they consider to be one of their most ambitious projects yet.
The idea for Shibuya, the second installment in Nicolay’s City Lights series, was conceived after Nicolay’s first visit to Tokyo in November 2006. The experience proved to be life changing for Nicolay, who has studied Japanese culture for most of his adult life. “This amazing place and all of its sounds and colors immediately filled up my senses,” he says. “I felt reinvigorated.”
Once back home, he started to write and record music with a new-found sense of freedom, laying the groundwork for the albums Time:Line and Leave It All Behind as well a third album; a deeply personal homage to the Tokyo district of Shibuya that illustrates both the grandeur of Japan’s age-old heritage (“Meiji Shrine, “Rain In Ueno Park”, “The Inner Garden”) as well as the hectic city life of one of the world’s busiest metropolitan areas (“Crossing”, “Satellite”, “Bullet Train”). Where City Lights Volume 1 was primarily instrumental, on Shibuya the instrumental pieces are book-ended by several vocal songs written by Phonte and performed by Durham, North Carolina vocalist CARLITTA DURAND, who previously collaborated with Phonte on LITTLE BROTHER’s Getback album (ABB 2007). Also appearing is Foreign Exchange liveband-mate ZO!, who adds his virtuoso keyboard solos to two songs.
“It truly is like stepping into a different world”, says Nicolay about his trip to the city. “What fascinated me most about Shibuya was the co-existence of ‘old’ and ‘new’ in seemingly perfect harmony. The most advanced technologies and innovations exist next to traditions that are rooted in thousands of years of civilization.” The album’s musical foundation mirrors this hybrid of different ages, combining influences from ’70s jazz, rock and fusion with broken beat, downtempo and electronica to form the lush, genre-bending sound that has become Nicolay’s trademark.
01 Lose Your Way feat. Carlitta Durand
02 Shibuya Station
04 Rain In Ueno Park
06 Saturday Night feat. Carlitta Durand
07 A Ride Under The Neon Moon
09 Meiji Shrine
10 Shadow Dancing
11 The Inner Garden
12 Bullet Train
13 Wake Up In Another Life
15 Shibuya Epilogue feat. Carlitta Durand
One of my favorite vocalists, Sy Smith is now in the studio with one of my joints for the …just visiting too album. Judging by the way she has already laced the hell outta the SunStorm album, I think we’ll all be in for a treat. So what I’M gonna do in the meantime is fill up my wine glass with Shiraz and sip till I get the joint back… Can’t WAIT!!
This past Wednesday we had a tribute concert and fundraiser honoring the memory of the late GREAT Jay Dee a/k/a James “J. Dilla” Yancey at Club Liv in Washington D.C. Those headlining the bill included his younger brother John “Illa J” Yancey, longtime collaborator and former A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg, and Dilla’s mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey.
This was actually the 4th event done in D.C. in honor of Dilla and the first that I have been a part of. The band for the night…
Jon Laine – Drums
Dennis Turner – Bass
Brock Smith – Guitar
Nila Kay – Guitar
Dre King – Keys
Zo! – Keys
The results? Honoring the music of Dilla Dawg, raising money for the Lupus Foundation, and providing some good live music and a damn good time…
Here are some video clips shot from that night… I’ll add more as I find them.
Phife Dawg performing “Check Tha Rhime”
Huge shouts to my man Fave outta Houston, TX for featuring me on his website and podcast for this week. He put together a helluva playlist for this week’s edition and included our interview toward the end of the podcast itself.
In this edition the heat and good music increase exponentially from familiar favorites and incredible newcomers to the game. Nod your head to the best in soul and progressive hip hop from across the land and the pond.
The health tip / update deals with the mental / emotional / spiritual issues that attack our physical bodies.
As we quench our thirst for quality tunes, get ready to chop it up with one of the rising musical stars of the new millennium. He’s a dynamic instrumentalist (the piano is his primary weapon of choice) and works with some of the FFC’s most coveted artists. Zo! checks in and breaks down the current state of the industry, taking the stage with the Foreign Exchange and what’s coming soon from his creative mind.
Get a cool washcloth, a glass of ice water and press play. The weekend doesn’t officially begin until the FFC gets in. . .
Enjoy yourself. . .
Click here to download.
C17 – Moving Violation Tribute (instrumental)
M64 – Rhythm of the Drum Sa-Ra – Love Czar
?uestlove/Foreign Exchange/Zo!/Carlitta Durand – Purple Flip
Self Scientific – Love Bird (instrumental)
Donnie – Cloud Nince [DJ Spinna Remix]
De La Soul – View
Psymun – Ain’t No Sunshine (instrumental)
Shawn Stockman – If You Were a Boy
Carmen Rodgers – Dream
Otis & Shugg – Journey
Garcia’s Grooves – I Can’t Help It (instrumental)
Atjazz – Before feat. Clara Hill
Zo! & Asylum 7 – Overdue Process
Zo! – 4 Dilla (instrumental)
Nicolay – Rhodes (instrumental)
Foreign Exchange – If She Breaks Your Heart feat. Yahzarah
Zo! & Tigallo – I’m Only Human
Zo! & Asylum 7 – Rigorous (instrumental)
Nicolay – Coltrane (instrumental)
Fave – Another Love Song (instrumental)
9th Wonder – Everybody Loves the Sunshine (instrumental)
G.C. – Off the Wall Tribute (instrumental)
As y’all may know from the last post, the brotha Ahmir Thompson a/k/a Questlove, the drummer from the Legendary Roots Crew programmed the drums on the “Purple Flip” joint that was leaked yesterday. Well here is what he had to say about the song itself…