by Eric Tullis
We don't necessarily think Nicolay is a yoga-practicing pacifist or some dude who thinks we should all hold hands, swill chai and sing songs of joy. But when he says stuff like this in his press releases, we have to wonder: "What fascinated me most about Shibuya was the co-existence of ‘old’ and ‘new’ in seemingly perfect harmony. The most advanced technologies and innovations exist next to traditions that are rooted in thousands of years of civilization.”
That was Nicolay's response to visiting Tokyo's Shibuya district in late 2006. He could have easily said, "It was cool, and I saw some dope shit," but instead, he came back from his visit with some unbearable lightness of being, and three years later, decided to make an album devoted entirely to the city and comprised of themes like "70s jazz, rock and fusion with broken beat, downtempo and electronica." Uhh, Dutchmaster, what's going on here?
On "Lose Your Way," the lead single from Nicolay's Shibuya (City Lights Volume 2), we get to hear what's steadily becoming the result of Phonte Coleman's grand fixiation with adopting young, female singers, writing songs for them, and making them sing at gun-point. He did it with Keisha Shontelle, Yahzarah and Muhsinah, but this time, his latest protege hostage is Carlitta Durand. She didn't make the cut for he and Nicolay's Leave it All Behind LP as The Foreign Exchange, but she's featured on four Shibuya tracks. Fittingly, this almost feels like a hangover track from Leave It All Behind. Perhaps it's Phonte (who wrote and arranged the vocals here) and Nicolay's apologetic gesture for not letting Carlitta show-off on LIAB . And yes, it's Carlitta doing her infamous boy-luring thing-with-her-voice, but unfortunately this song is only about walking around Japan, and smiling at lamp-posts, not about masturbating.
Maybe next time.