Nicolay brings avant-boogie beats to Promontory | Bleader

Nicolay brings avant-boogie beats to Promontory

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Foreign Exchange, otherwise known as the duo of rapper-singer Phonte and producer Nicolay, plays the Promontory on Thursday night. Debuting with the strictly hip-hop Connected in 2004, the group have since transformed into one of the most cutting-edge R&B groups of the past decade, churning out albums that forego the glitchy electronics of most left field R&B acts in favor of cleaner, more nuanced music and quirky, diagonal singing. Aside from the work they release as Foreign Exchange, both Phonte (formerly a member of hip-hop group Little Brother) and Nicolay also issue solo projects, and all their work is released on their own FE Music label. Last month, Nicolay dropped the third volume of City Lights, a mostly instrumental LP series that is built around a specific location. On City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto, the beat maker squeezes out tubular synth lines and crisp drum breaks with touches of Afropop and early 80s R&B and disco. It is one of the most overlooked electronic-music or R&B albums of the year. On today's 12 O'Clock Track, "The Secret," Nicolay drops a breathy vocal loop and melancholy, squelchy keyboard lines on top of Midnight Love-era drum breaks. Check it out below.





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