featured REVIEW


Foreign Exchange Connected BBE • 2004

'Connected' is a well-picked title for this album: two musicians from two different continents who drop an LP about the soul, the peace and love! But before we turn into hippies, let’s say that Phonte (1/3rd of Little Brother) and Nicolay (straight out the Lowlands) made a pretty groovy album. 'Foreign Exchange' is also well-picked caus Pooh and Nicolay got in contact, they 'connected', through Internet, on the Okayplayer boards. And so the American and the Dutch exchanged their beats and rhymes.

Nicolay’s beats are somewhere in between 9th Wonder and Jay Dee's. The soul drips off the beats: smooth bass lines with electronic but warm samples. However, this doesn’t mean that MC Phonte stays friendly. He gets pretty braggadocios from time to time and manages to play it raw, as he does in 'Raw Life'. Ambition and criticism is echoed in the fantastic 'Hustle Hustle'. And that’s so nice about this album: everything looks very peaceful at first ear, but when listening closely you’ll find some grease under the sugar coating. The sugar is the sweet singing on some tracks. Some hip-hop heads will be ignorant but don’t be, caus it adds a perfect soul vibe to the album. Fantastic is 'The Answer', with its deep bass line and mystic sample. In 'Hapiness' the message of this record starts floatin on the surface: 'good people, good lovin, good music in my life, it makes me happy'. Also an absolute hit is 'Nics Groove': nice basses, a mellow sound and a kickin snare. I remember this single being played on the Belgian radio show 'The Hop' and it bugged me out, wondering how the LP would be like…

Well, it’s close to the fantastic Little Brother album 'The Listening', if not a tiny bit better, and it sounds like a sunny Sunday afternoon in the fall. But yo! Ain’t that just like the picture on the front sleeve?

POSTED ON 08|28|2004 by jazztro

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