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First Spin: The Foreign Exchange’s ‘The Last Fall (Focus… +FE Experience Remix)’

Stalwart art-soul label remixes its own catalog

picture-18238-1372868646Brandon Soderberg // February 25, 2013

The Foreign Exchange began as an online collaboration between rapper Phonte Coleman and producer Nicolay Rook, then a budding producer in the Netherlands. 2004’s Connected was ambitious (check out the Bing Crosby sample on “Let’s Move”), though in-the-pocket underground hip-hop project. Since then, though, Nicolay moved to the States and the Foreign Exchange evolved into a brooding art-soul project; alt-R&B before such a thing really was getting any attention. Meanwhile +FE Music, the Foreign Exchange’s label has expanded beyond the group, putting out projects from future R&B-er Yahzarah, wizened rapper Median, soul eccentric Zo!, singer-songwriter Jeanne Jolly, and others. + FE Music: The Reworks works like a obtuse label sampler, curating cuts from its artists and then handing them over to others to ambitiously remix.

“The Last Fall,” the opening track from the Foreign Exchange’s 2010 album Authenticity — kind of a grown-and-sexy meeting point between Kanye West’s falling-out-of-love-with-everything opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the tender-hearted art-rap & bullshit of Diddy-Dirty Money’s Last Train to Paris — is turned into a trippy house track by producer Focus… + FE Music: The Reworks is out tomorrow, but you can hear “The Last Fall (Focus… +FE Experience Remix)” here, exclusively at SPIN.

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