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EL MICHELS AFFAIR

El Michels Affair

Shimmy Shimmy Ya / Incarcerated Scarfaces

    Back in 2006 El Michels Affair began releasing a slew of brilliant covers of Wu-Tang classics on 7" as part of their acclaimed “Shaolin Series”, eventually leading to their full length project of wu-fueled interpretations - “Enter The 37th Chamber” on Fat Beats Records in 2009. Now available for the first time on 7" by popular demand, 2 more stand-out tracks from the LP - Shimmy Shimmy Ya b/w Incarcerated Scarfaces 

    El Michels Affair Feat Lee Fields

    Never Be Another You (Reggae Version)

    For years, Lee Fields has been asking for and patiently waiting on a reggae rhythm to sing over. To bring this dream to fruition, EMA teamed up with frequent collaborator and reggae enthusiast, Nick Movshon, and busted out this version of the Lee Fields & The Expressions' instant classic, Never be Another You. The A side is the vocal version of the tune; EMA cut a killer interpolation of the original and had Lee lay down the vocals like only he can. The result is right on time for summer, a feel good side that can hold court right next to the classics. The B side finds Michels manning the boards for a proper version of the tune. Echoes, drop outs, and reverb flourishes all dancing through the mix in proper reggae style. 

    El Michels Affair

    Unathi/Zaharila

    El Michels Affair returns with a new 45 that is simultaneously a new direction and the signature sound he is known for. This time EMA dips their toes into the world of Bollywood Funk and recruits Piya Malik of 79.5 for vocal duties. He has crafted yet another two sider of heavy duty shit. It also comes in a gorgeous picture sleeve courtesy of Chicago’s Deadly Prey gallery. From the start of side A, Unathi reels the listener in and keeps them through a journey of psychedelic arrangements, unexpected detours, and relentless rhythm.

    El Michels again showing the performance and production prowess that has spawned not only bands, but also some independent record labels. Lyrically, Unathi is a song about progress, a vociferous call to arms urging people to come together and work collectively to achieve it. Side B, Zaharila, is cinematic, dynamic, and an almost visual number as if it were the score to a film that’s never existed. Bent guitar notes and blaring horn stabs ride the peaks and valleys of this epic tale about poisonous whispers that destroy a beautiful love affair. Starting slow and calm with Piya’s ethereal melodies floating atop, the song eventually becomes poisoned, panicked, and frantic by the final note. 

    El Michels Affair

    Return To The 37th Chamber

    The wait is over, Return To The 37th Chamber is El Michels Affair’s highly anticipated follow up to 2009's underground cult classic Enter the 37th Chamber. Churning out classic records since then for the likes of Lee Fields, The Arcs, The Shacks, and tons more, it is clear that EMA's signature sound is stronger & sharper than ever. This time, in addition to re-interpreting the Wu compositions for a live band, EMA pays homage to the production and sonic fog that makes a RZA beat so recognizable. Producer and bandleader Leon Michels recorded the album completely analog, sometimes hitting 6 generations of tape before it was ready for mixing, giving the Return to The 37th Chamber it’s own hazy sound.

    Adding to the unique fidelity, the record is laced with psychedelic flourishes, “John Carpenter” synths, heavy metal guitars, triumphant horns, and traditional Chinese instruments that make up for the lack of the Wu’s superlative vocals. From start to finish it’s a dark trip that walks the line between RZA’s timeless hip-hop aesthetic and the cinematic soul EMA has become known for. El Michels Affair tackles some classics like 4th Chamber and Wu Tang Aint Nuthin to Fuck Wit, as well as some deeper cuts like Ol Dirty Bastard’s Snakes, Raekwon’s Verbal Intercourse, and Shaolin Brew, Wu-Tang’s contribution to the St. Ide’s Hip Hop endorsement campaign from 1994. This time El Michels brings some of the Big Crown family along for the ride. Lee Fields handles vocal duties on Snakes and is joined by Shannon Wise of The Shacks for their version of Tearz, which pays as much homage to the Wendy Rene sample as it does to the Wu-Tang Clan. Lady Wray makes an appearance on the cover of Method Man’s hit, All I Need, lending her vocal prowess to what gave the Wu one of their biggest hits of all time. 


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