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Hide&Seek Compiled by The Foreign Exchange | Out now on Reel People Records
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Hide&Seek (Compiled by The Foreign Exchange)

August 22, 2017 at 4:33 PM · Comments
Hide&Seek (Compiled by The Foreign Exchange)
REEL PEOPLE MUSIC are excited to present our new compilation series HIDE&SEEK.

HIDE&SEEK's aim is to deliver a platform for our favourite artists and producers to showcase some of the incredible emerging talent and unsung heroes in the underground movement.

As our first compilers we are delighted to welcome PHONTE COLEMAN and NICOLAY ROOK aka THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE.
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in: Reviews

First Listen: The Foreign Exchange brings ''Shelter'' to us in new single (via @SoulTracks)

September 14, 2017 at 12:23 PM · Comments
The idea of being sanctuary for another in a relationship is one of the most seductive themes in romantic novels, movies, and, of course, song. Usually such songs don't bear much of a groove much less possess a stridently contemporary feel to them as "Shelter," since the offer of safety lends itself to balladry and also happens to be among the most traditional hands one can extend to an intimate partner. But, The Foreign Exchange has its own long tradition of upending expectations. The North Carolina outfit's collaboration with Oli Lazarus's UK-based Reel People Music to release that label's new Hide & Seek compilation series yields a percussive debut single that's not quite as danceable as most of that soulful house label's legend, and strongly bears the band's usual crisp, melancholic stamp. Yet, the very fine cut is somehow still bold enough to hold an ambient mid-tempo groove and suggest movement in its production if not in your hips.

As with most of The Foreign Exchange's catalog, the work is serious, resistant of musical cliché, and is unabashedly mature in its relationship observations. Singer/rapper Phonte Coleman and singer/songwriter and longtime +FE collaborator Carmen Rodgers have a beautiful, if plainspoken blend against Nicolay's evening cityscape sounds of synths, percussions, and electronic accents. The effect is classic The Foreign Exchange with its signature ability to make what is naturally cold in electronic music sound unnaturally warm and human.

Interestingly, "Shelter's" autumn preamble, while solid, is far from the strongest on a collection that overflows with more vibrant and catchy tunes, including Pirahnahead & Diviniti's "The Beauty of Life (featuring Carmen Rodgers)," Gwen Bunn's "Without A Doubt," and the Brandyesque "MPH" featuring Bosco. Having too many single-worthy songs is, of course, a high-class problem that surely fans of Reel People and The Foreign Exchange will appreciate while hop-scotching through Hide & Seek. More than the sacrificial offer of a love's covering, here lies some welcome shelter from the storms of bad music releases blowing through 2017.
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The Foreign Exchange - Body (DJ Spinna & Zo! Remixes)

July 15, 2017 at 6:35 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange - Body (DJ Spinna & Zo! Remixes)
London's finest deep and soulful house label, Makin' Moves now into their forth year, celebrate their 50th release with a unique one off 12' vinyl press! The team who have already worked with amazing artists and producers including Peven Everett, Kenny Bobien, Glenn Underground to name but a few present the DJ Spinna and Zo! remixes of The Foreign Exchange's club hit 'Body'.
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AllMusic reviews 'Tigallerro'

July 29, 2016 at 10:42 AM · Comments
This duo's association goes back to 2007, when neither artist could refer to himself as Grammy-nominated. Phonte, then "Phonte of Little Brother," added a verse to Roberson's "Been in Love..." Phontigallo and Erro reunified a few times after that, heard on tracks like Phonte's "Who Loves You More," Roberson's "Picture Perfect," and Zo!'s "We Are on the Move." Almost a decade after their first collaboration, the two completed Tigallerro, an album they began plotting in 2013 but were unable to complete -- due to work and life conflicts -- until 2016. Outfitted with references to Run-D.M.C.'s King of Rock and Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, it's an album that should be filed in the genre of the latter, though Phonte, at Roberson's behest, raps a few verses. Roberson also rhymes a couple times and does so without overextending himself, offhandedly boasting in the opening "It's So Easy" about fatherhood and creative independence, two states that also apply to his partner, a fellow major-label survivor. Seemingly created without fuss, Tigallerro is made of relaxed yet moving grooves, supplied by a cast of over of a dozen, that often evoke sunny and carefree Saturday afternoons. The two occasionally play around with some commercial trends, but they remain themselves, as grown men who descriptively sing about everyday romantic highs and lows, whether they're recalling contentment or regretting transgressions. Some of the cuts flow with such ease that the depth is easy to miss. On the surface, "Never the Same Smile" unfolds blissfully as Phonte and Shana Tucker trade lines, but then the wistful quality of its Foreign Exchange production cuts through as the song's heart, unrecoverable perfection, becomes apparent. On the closing "Something," over a Daniel Crawford production that is somehow fluid and chunky at once, Phonte and Roberson modestly attest their faith in serenely uplifted fashion. Tigallerro is also a testament to Phonte's growth as a songwriter, arranger, and singer. Roberson is the one with the deeper R&B background, he has no trouble acknowledging the development. He merely accents the Sheldon Williams collaboration "3:45," an early-morning slow jam -- one with a slight lilt recalling Zapp's "Be Alright" -- that contains an exceptionally sweet and open-hearted Phonte lead. Who in the aughts could have imagined WJLR putting such a thing on rotation?
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Phonte and Eric Roberson - It's So Easy

July 8, 2016 at 7:52 AM · Comments
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Phonte and Eric Roberson - Tigallerro

July 8, 2016 at 7:39 AM · Comments
Phonte and Eric Roberson - Tigallerro
The debut collaborative project between hip-hop/R&B veteran Phonte Coleman and the King of Independent Soul, Eric Roberson. The 10-song collection includes production by S1, Zo!, and DJ Harrison.
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in: Reviews

AllMusic reviews 'SkyBreak'

June 13, 2016 at 4:02 PM · Comments
AllMusic reviews 'SkyBreak'
SkyBreak followed ManMade by almost exactly three years. During the intervening period, Lorenzo Ferguson assisted in the making of two Foreign Exchange albums, served as that group's musical director, and contributed to releases from the 1978ers, Talib Kweli, Sy Smith, and fellow Detroit natives Jamall Bufford and Collective Peace. As on ManMade and the preceding SunStorm, the multi-instrumentalist works tightly with production and songwriting partner Phonte, who is among nine featured vocalists. Most of them are familiar to FE-related sessions and are also credited as composers, fitting into the album's scheme -- uplifted views of flings, falling in, out, and back in love -- without lending it a muddled mixtape quality. Likewise, Ferguson and company continue to evangelize, with a modern perspective, late-'70s to early-'80s sophisticated funk and soul. Even with its pair of Phonte rap verses, including a slightly lewd smash-and-grab job pulled on "I Don't Mind," the album has much more in common with Rufus & Chaka's Masterjam or an Earth, Wind & Fire satellite project than it does with any given post-1983 commercial R&B recording. A couple voices previously unheard on a Zo! release arrive consecutively during the second, superior half. Undersung veteran Joi Gilliam lures on the frisky "Just Whatcha Like," trailed by "Lifelines," on which U.K. up-and-comer Dornik sings of romantic salvation with a DeBarge-like hushed sweetness. Another detail that separates this from previous Zo! output is the bounty of burbling synthesizers. As prominent as the thick bass guitar lines, they reinforce several songs. They're deployed to most pleasurable effect on the Muhsinah-led "Packing for Chicago," where Ferguson's keyboard makes Stevie Wonder-type low-end streaks that swim through steady percussion reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's similarly expectant "Come Running to Me." Filled out with an instrumental dedication to Ferguson's father, who passed away during the album's creation, SkyBreak is another step forward. Ferguson doesn't allow his expanding knowledge and ability to overshadow his personal touch.
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in: Video

The Foreign Exchange #360Video - ''Call It Home'' Live at Southland Ballroom

May 6, 2016 at 7:30 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange #360Video - ''Call It Home'' Live at Southland Ballroom

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Zo! - Lifelines feat. Dornik

May 6, 2016 at 7:11 PM · Comments
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The Foreign Exchange #360Video - ''Disappear'' Live at Southland Ballroom

April 14, 2016 at 9:24 AM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange #360Video - ''Disappear'' Live at Southland Ballroom
The Foreign Exchange perform their track "Disappear" for a packed house at Southland Ballroom in Raleigh, NC. New to #360Video? Click/tap and drag to explore the stage and venue.

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Zo! - SkyBreak

April 12, 2016 at 11:44 AM · Comments
Zo! - SkyBreak
The third +FE Music release from producer, multi-instrumentalist, and musical director of The Foreign Exchange, Zo!.

The 10 song collection features guest appearances from Eric Roberson, Phonte, Muhsinah, innovative UK soul wonder Dornik, and longtime Dungeon Family affiliate and funk/rock veteran Joi.
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The Roots play ''House Of Cards'' as intro music for Kevin Spacey on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

February 24, 2016 at 9:53 AM · Comments

Watch The Roots play our song "House Of Cards" as intro music for Kevin Spacey on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon!

Posted by The Foreign Exchange on Wednesday, February 24, 2016
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in: News

#FEMusic 2016

February 23, 2016 at 1:54 PM · Comments
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