Nicolay is best known as the producing half of The Foreign Exchange, whose debut album Connected made a huge impact. Since then, he has produced for Little Brother, Supastition, Masta Ace, Strange Fruit Project and Zion I, remixed tracks for Roy Ayers, Bob James, Candy Dulfer and many others and has now started his own label.
Kay Jackson has been one of Houston's most promising emcees ever since forming his first group Example with longtime best friend DJ Cipher, in 1996. Nicolay & Kay present Time:Line, which is scheduled to be released February 2008 on Nicolay Music Recordings.
"Tight Eyes" is a bouncing, smooth track with a hook so soft it's almost whispering, with guests The Luv Bugz singing, "We must be tight / Let's go out". Also featuring Oh No, Nicolay and Kay travel the well-worn path to the club, encountering some familiar characters – but what sets this slick track apart from most drink-smoke-and-dance-a-longs is the light-headed atmosphere Nic lays down on the production. Perky synths, cool drums, and a murky bass set up Kay and No for the perfect happy hour; not too loud or wild, just an easy good time.
The only hip-hop artist with a legitimate, geography-based claim at the played-out title of "Dutch Master", Nicolay brings in the New Year with a veritable "Electric Relaxation '08". With a hook mimicking the '93 Tribe classic, "Stop My Way" featuring Mic of The Legendary K.O. (K-Otix) employs a more refined, celestial soundscape – the sort of production we have come to love and expect from Nicolay.
The beat, featuring finespun whistles and filmy synths, is of the heavens; the female-centered lyrics, conversely, are dictated straight from the id. While the instrumental is a standout piece on its own, such juxtaposition between the beat and lyrics creates a single worthy of spinning in just about any setting. The 9th Wonder comparisons are tired, and Nicolay's "Stop My Way" reverberates the buzz surrounding his new album with Kay set to drop early February.