El Michels Affair “Return To The 37th Chamber” with their new tribute to the Wu-Tang Clan and the music that influenced their trade mark sound.
This is a must for all funk and soul fans and of course Wu-Tang fans. Blending versions of the original samples with the Wu’s boom bap beats the album gives you a new insight into the Wu sound while keeping the authentic soulful sound. With Lee Fields and Nicole Wray of The Shacks coming along for the ride and some awesome artwork to boot, this is an album you need in your collection. Available now on Big Crown Records.
El Michels Affair will release Return To The 37th Chamber on April 14 via Big Crown Records and we now have a killer video for ‘Iron Man’. The animated video is for the bands cover of the ‘Iron’s Theme’ interlude from the Ghostface album, Supreme Clientele. Check out the awesome video and pre-order the album here.
Staten Island is both close enough to New York City and far enough away to make it easily the most exotic of the 5 boroughs. Rza from WuTang Clan attributes the uniqueness of the Wu to it’s Hip Hop contemporaries at the time to just that dynamic. Growing up on an island that is neighbours with the capital of the world, but has no bridges to it, no trains or tunnels, only a ferry, turns out to be the perfect recipe to give a New York band a unique take on the energy of the city.
Paul Schalda, the bandleader, singer and songwriter of is from Staten Island. One part of a crazily talented musical family, Paul’s music seems to embody the unexpected overlap of The Band’s Americana, Ian MacKaye’s unhinged emotion, Otis Redding’s raw, warm soul, and the doo-wop melodies his father, Bill Schalda Sr. (a member of Brooklyn vocal group, The Montereys) raised him on.
On Paul & The Tall Trees’ debut album “Our Love In The Light” you hear the sum of his experiences. This singular sound is helped by the fact that his father, William Schalda, Sr., and brother, Will Schalda Jr., play on and inspire the record. The album was written entirely by Paul, and produced by another Staten Island native, Thomas Brenneck of Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band, and Budos Band fame. The combination of the two gives the record an amazing sonic range, from the powerhouse rocker Crack Of Down to the ethereal western vibes of She Comes Around . Paul pens a tune about the forever changing conviction of a man in love on Once In A While , and ironically The Little Bit Of Sunshine, is a story about Paul giving up on a career in music. One thing you hear in Schalda s music, no matter which song, is that the road hasn t been easy. His voice can be hauntingly harsh, yet hopeful and tender, raucous and gravelly one moment, smooth and intimate the next. Even though he is being compared to the famous groups and musicians mentioned above, he can only call it Rock and Roll and be humbled. ‘I’m very lucky to be able to do this,’ Schalda says. ‘And I’m extremely happy. Especially for my father. He worked hard for his sons and this record.’
“Our Love In The Light” is out now on Big Crown Records and it is awesome! Have a listen, you won’t be disappointed.
It’s hard to find another active singer today that has the background Lee Fields does: a first release in 1969, records on thirteen different labels, and close to 47 years of music making, touring and recording. Backed by The Expressions and their incomparable soul-sound musicianship, Lee Fields will release his latest album “Special Night” on November 4 via Big Crown Records.
Before the album drops, Fields has released the title track on 7″ single, splitting the epic 6 minute song over both sides it makes for a classic slice of timeless soul. Grad it now from Big Crown Records.
The wait is over, El Michels Affair is back with the follow up to 2009’s underground cult classic ‘Enter the 37th Chamber. The first single 4th Chamber, a cover of one of the toughest GZA tunes from Liquid Swords finds EMA’s signature sound stronger than ever. Fuzz guitar and synths reminiscent of Morricone scoring Scarface dance over absolutely crushing drums giving the original RZA production a proper run for its money. The lush production and choices of instrumentation take a Hip-Hop classic and bring almost a Heavy Metal influence to it while never losing the groove.
The B side is something of a Big Crown family affair, El Michels inviting the one and only Lee Fields to the track to sing the vocal part over from O’l Dirty Bastard’s rawer than raw album cut Snakes. The tune starts with a sweet stripped down vocal performance from Lee then quickly turns dark and tests the durability of your speakers. EMA taking a small bit of the sample track and turning it into a thing of its own, once again the tried and true pairing of producer and singer bring us yet another timeless classic. Seven years later it is safe to say El Michels Affair is sharper than ever.
Released April 15th on 7″ and digital download listen and buy your copy HERE
Before Mickey and the Soul Generation there was Mickey and The Fabulous Five. As members of a Latin Soul band called The Royal Tokens, Mickey Foster and Emil Carter developed their chops playing in front of San Antonio teens at Sunday night Battle of the Bands shows. Mickey’s own band, The Fabulous Four, soon became The Fabulous Five with the addition of Gilbert Rivera on bass. In the late summer of 1967, local music entrepreneur E.J. Henke took the Fabulous Five into Jeff Smith’s Texas Sound Studio to record two sessions of funky New Breed Soul instrumentals as well as a backing session for Charles Russell’s group, The Three Dudes. Still a teenager, Mickey and his father both signed Henke’s recording contract.
While their recordings with The Three Dudes were released as a single on Henke’s Satin Records, the superb instrumentals The Fabulous Five cut during the summer of ‘67 remained unreleased until now. Relying heavily on the rhythm section, this set of recordings captures the young band crystallizing what would become their signature sound. By 1969, The Fabulous Five had changed their name to Mickey and The Soul Generation and had begun recording their now legendary sessions with Manny Guerra’s GC Productions. These early sessions stand alone as a key chapter in the development of one of the greatest, heaviest exponents of Funk.
Out April 15th on 10″ vinyl and digital download, you can listen and order your copy HERE