Search Results for:

EL MICHELS AFFAIR

El Michels Affair Meets Liam Bailey

Ekundayo Inversions (Instrumentals)

    By popular demand, we are proud to present Ekundayo Inversions (Instrumentals).

    Liam Bailey released his debut album Ekundayo on the label at the end of 2020, then in the Summer of 2021 El Michels Affair took the tapes from that and did a dub version of the album in his own style aptly titled Ekundayo Inversions. Both of these releases quickly became cult classics in their own right. The chemistry between Liam and producer Leon Michels is undeniable, each pushing the other to new places in their sounds. Here we take the vocals out of the mix and focus on the production and the players pulling instrumentals versions from both the Ekundayo album and the Ekundayo Inversions album.

    This is a limited one time pressing of 1000 pieces.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    Conquer & Divide (Instrumental)
    She Hates This Life (Instrumental)
    Angel Dust (Instrumental)
    Don’t Blame Ny (Instrumental)
    Cold & Clear (Instrumental)
    White Light (Instrumental)
    Side B
    Ugly Truth (Instrumental)
    Angel Face (Instrumental)
    Walk With Me (Instrumental)
    King (Instrumental)
    Where Do I Start? (Instrumental)
    Faded (Instrumental)
    Awkward (Take 2) (Instrumental)

    El Michels Affair

    Stack The Deck / Things Done Changed

    Big Crown Records is proud to present this rock solid two-sider from El Michels Affair. This 7" is part of a new Big Crown X El Oms collaboration that includes a custom deck of playing cards and a t shirt series illustrated by El Oms. The labels of this 45 are pulled from some of the King & Queen illustrations contained in the deck. To go with this project, El Michels teamed up again with Bobby Oroza for the A side tune which plays along with the collab theme called "Stack The Deck". These two proved their chemistry on 2020's "Reasons" which became a fast favorite around the globe. This time El Michels comes with a heavier more orchestrated track that Bobby finds the perfect groove on as he plays up the gamble of love. The B side is a speaker smashing cover of the late, great, Notorious B.I.G.'s "Things Done Changed" from his "Ready To Die" album. El Michels Affair stays close to the tone of the original Easy Mo Bee production but makes it their own with their signature horns and cinematic grit. 45 and playing cards are sold separately!

    TRACK LISTING

    Stack The Deck
    Things Done Changed

    El Michels Affair

    The Abominable EP

      Unreleased Tracks, Alternate Takes, & Instrumentals from the Yeti Season recording sessions. Produced by Leon Michels. El Michels Affair follows up the massive success of their full length Yeti Season with The Abominable EP. A collection of unreleased tracks, alternate takes, and instrumentals from the Yeti Season recording sessions. EMA’s blending their signature cinematic soul sound with in­uences from Turkish Funk and the grittiest of Bollywood soundtracks yielded an instant classic The Fader calls “a carnival of dusty funk and soul”. The EP starts off with the unreleased gem “Messy Grass” whose synth intro, peppered with distant yeti cries, gives way to a tremendous backing track that Tamer Pinarbasi’s Qanun dances over. On “Cham Cham” EMA invites Piya Malik to the microphone again to share her styled storytelling vocals over the instrumental track from Yeti Season’s “Perfect Harmony”.

      Where some of the tunes on the EP have vocals added, some of them have them removed letting the band take center stage; “Poison Song”, “Uncut Gem”, “Smoked”, and “Progress” are all instrumental here giving them a wholly different energy than the vocal versions. The EP is being released with two different covers, each one has two paintings from different Ghanaian mobile cinema artists commissioned through Chicago’s Deadly Prey Gallery and are interpretations of the original album artwork. One version is paintings by Stoger and Heavy J, who also contributed cover paintings to the Return To The 37th Chamber album. The other version of the cover is two paintings by Teshie and Farkira

      TRACK LISTING

      SIDE A:
      1. Messy Grass
      2. Cham Cham Feat. Piya Malik
      3. Poison Song
      4. Uncut Gem
      5. Idhar Udhar
      SIDE B:
      1. Smoked
      2. Progress
      3. Running Hot
      4. Nasir

      There has always been a Reggae in­uence in the music of El Michels Affair. From their cover of “Hung Up On My Baby” done in a Reggae style, to the general sound and approach that permeates Leon’s production style. While recording Bailey’s 2020 Ekundayo album, they did some straight forward reggae tunes inspired by different eras alongside some modern R&B tracks that would sit more comfortably next to Frank Ocean than Jacob Miller. It is this same notion that old and new can live so comfortably together that birthed the idea of Ekundayo Inversions.

      Traditional dub came out of reggae in the late 60s and early 70s when pioneers like King Tubby and Lee Perry started taking the multi track recordings of songs and running them back through the board adding effects and additional instrumentation. These recordings are called “dubs” or “versions” and are typically instrumentals with ­ourishes of vocals from the original tracks.

      El Michels decided to use the blueprints left behind and make something using the in­uences of today. He wound up straying so far from the traditional format that it didn’t seem right to use the word ‘Dub’, hence Ekundayo Inversions. All the songs are tied together by WhatsApp messages between Leon and Liam that perfectly narrate the story of this record and their working relationship.

      One of the highlights on Ekundayo Inversions is a guest appearance from the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry on the “Ugly Truth” version. L$P switches between singing and talking, proclaiming his powers one minute and playing with the track’s title the next. On “Awkward take. 2” Leon takes one of the most experimental songs from Ekundayo and actually straightens it out. A track that once seemed to be ­oating in space has now been anchored by the addition of drums and bass. “Faded”, a version of “Paper Tiger”, is given the full EMA treatment with the addition of emotive horns over an uncomfortably sparse rhythm track peppered with Liam’s voice drenched in delay and echo.

      “Champions” features a verse from Black Thought of The Roots and halfway through, El Michels sends the rhythm section 50 years back. At the end of the day, Ekundayo Inversions is a testament to how strong the original songs are. Whether they’re in a R&B style, reggae style, stripped down to their bare bones, or loaded with production, the songs will move you.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: What a truly stunning set of songs this is, swimming in dubby atmospherics while still retaining the groove and soul of the originals. Some of the pieces are a little bit more in the downbeat realm, before we get the smooth as silk R&B and dubby cuts that bring things back to the (decidedly relaxed) dancefloor. A superb selection of versions, perfectly at home with the orignals, while remaining resolutely distinct from them.

      TRACK LISTING

      SIDE A:
      1. Conquer & Divide
      Feat. Black Thought
      2. Amazing Woman
      3. Angel Face
      4. Walk With Me
      5. No One Else
      6. King

      SIDE B:
      1. Ugly Truths Feat. Lee Scratch Perry
      2. I Love NY
      3. Superstar
      4. Awkward (Take 2)
      5. Lucky Man
      6. Faded

      El Michels Affair

      Adult Themes

        Big Crown Records is proud to present Adult Themes, the latest full length offering from El Michels Affair. This album takes the band’s “Cinematic Soul” aesthetic literally and sends the listener on a journey through a whirlwind of moods and energies. With their 2005 debut album Sounding Out The City, EMA spearheaded an instrumental funk / soul movement that inspired a slew of bands and even lead to the creation of a few independent record labels. El Michels has since lent his signature sound to artists from Adele to Dr John, Lana Del Rey to Aloe Blacc, and a who’s who list of others. In 2016 he co-founded Big Crown Records and has since produced the lion’s share of its output. A short stint as the touring band for Wu Tang Clan in 2007 led to the cult classics Enter The 37th Chamber (2009) and Return To The 37th Chamber (2017). Adult Themes marks the long awaited, highly anticipated return to an album of original compositions from El Michels Affair.

        In 2017 in between producing, playing, and recording on other artists’ records Leon Michels began creating compilations of short interludes intended to be sampled by hip hop producers. Some of these wound up becoming songs by Jay Z & Beyonce, Travis Scott, and Don Toliver. These minute-long snippets were inspired by the dense moody work of ‘60s composers like David Axelrod, and Francois de Roubaix, as well as Moondog’s brand of classical jazz. Michels was having so much fun creating these instrumental / orchestral nuggets that he decided to expand on some of the ideas and create what would become the soundtrack for a movie that has yet to be made, an imaginary film entitled “Adult Themes.” The album plays like the colors on an artists pallet. Songs like “Rubix” and “Villa” are densely orchestrated with the hard-hitting drums that El Michels Affair is known for. On “Life of Pablo”, Leon’s son makes his first appearance on record and intros a song with an epic arrangement and a moving mood. “Hipps” is a drum heavy ballad that could’ve easily fit on EMA’s debut record, Sounding Out the City. Other compositions like “The Difference” and “Kill The Lights” are bare, melodic mood pieces with sparse drums and sophisticated chord movement. All of these tunes come together to make perfect backgrounds for dialogue and action. One of the beautiful things about instrumental music is that the listener can decide what the narrative is. With Adult Themes El Michels Affair has created a “choose your own adventure” in musical form.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Enfant
        2. Adult Theme No. 1
        3. Kill The Lights
        4. Villa
        5. Adult Theme No. 2
        6. Life Of Pablo
        7. Adult Theme No. 3

        SIDE B:
        1. Rubix
        2. A Swift Nap
        3. Hipps
        4. Munecas
        5. Adult Theme No. 4


        Latest Pre-Sales

        200 NEW ITEMS

        Looking great John 👌Thanks for ordering and sharing 🙏 https://t.co/rHCupRQrAG) @DeadOceans @whereisMUNA https://t.co/B0pGopRUjc
        Fri 24th - 12:45
        Yes, physical copies available July 1. Get your pre-orders in here 👇 https://t.co/H9F4EMsMfb) @TheVintageCrop https://t.co/lvQfXTbhYH
        Fri 24th - 12:12
        #newmusicfriday has come round once again 🙌 Here’s a small selection of some of the great records out today. Labe… https://t.co/sVeUkRwTNe
        Fri 24th - 12:07
        E-newsletter —
        Sign up
        Back to top