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Archive for the ‘The Foreign Exchange’ Category

Independent Weekly: The Hot At Nights – Nice Talk


Review of this Raleigh (ostensibly) jazz trio’s debut record. The group’s fronted by Chris Boerner who plays guitar for the Foreign Exchange. There are covers of Joe Jackson and Radiohead and it takes some really weird chances. If you enjoy any relatively straight-forward, contemporary jazz, check it out.

The Hot At Nights are fronted by guitarist Chris Boerner, also of The Foreign Exchange, The Proclivities and a host of other local projects. Like Phonte’s casually experimental soul group, there’s a strange menace underneath this Raleigh trio’s lithe, sophisticated approach to a stalwart genre past its “cool” expiration date, if it ever had one. The Hot At Nights’ template is straight, clinical jazz, down to the sometimes silly song titles (“CisforKaddafi”) and minimalist artwork. Importantly, they also screw around with the style however they see fit, keeping it compelling while moving toward a sound that doesn’t exactly have a genre. It definitely doesn’t fall into the fusion trap, either…

Written by Brandon

October 27th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Independent Weekly: “The Foreign Exchange continues its unmitigated risks on Authenticity

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“Y’all motherfuckers trying to get that Grammy again!” That’s Phonte Coleman—the songwriting, singing and sometimes rapping half of the experimental soul group The Foreign Exchange, impersonating the potential detractors of his group’s new, disarmingly serious record, Authenticity.

Their last album, 2008’s Leave It All Behind, received a Best Urban/ Alternative Performance Grammy nomination for the song “Daykeeper.” Nicolay Rook, the group’s producer, laughs at the all-too-real impersonation, stealing a glance away from the heaping plate of hush puppies in front of him. The duo has again rendezvoused on a Wednesday afternoon in late October, at the Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q restaurant in the little town of Warsaw, off Interstate 40’s Exit 364. The stop is equidistant from Rook’s Wilmington home and Raleigh, where Coleman resides.

Coleman and Rook certainly consider that Grammy nod when they make decisions, but not in the way one might expect. “We’re just doing us, and if [something like a Grammy] comes to us, it comes to us,” Coleman says brashly, “but I’m damn sure not gonna come to it.”

Written by Brandon

November 18th, 2010 at 3:58 am

Village Voice, Sound of the City: Interview with Phonte Coleman of The Foreign Exchange


My interview with Phonte of The Foreign Exchange for Sound of the City is up. The guy’s a quote-machine so there’s plenty of interesting, engaging stuff about r&b, maturing, etc. in there. If you haven’t checked out Authenticity, F.E’s new record, you really should. It’s easily one of the best records of the year.

When Phonte Coleman, the singing, songwriting half of r&b duo the Foreign Exchange (the other half is producer/multi-instrumentalist Nicolay Rook), talks about the group’s new album Authenticity, he’s close to apologetic. That’s because unlike 2008’s Leave It All Behind, the group’s Grammy-nominated celebration of love’s up-and-down complexities, this new one is an extended, depressive suite about wizened contentment and well, existential dread. Authenticity is purposefully one-note: spare, frosty electronic soul about how much damned work it is to be in a relationship. We met up with Phonte last week in Raleigh, North Carolina, to discuss the record as the Foreign Exchange prepared for their two CMJ shows this Saturday: A free one at the Union Square Best Buy at 2:30 p.m. and then a 7 p.m. performance at BB King’s…

Written by Brandon

October 20th, 2010 at 7:48 pm