El Michels Affair - Sounding Out The City (2005)
Truth & Soul Records
Sometimes, you get the feeling that a metropolis like any other living
entity needs to have its own rhythm in order to connect with its
inhabitants. A rhythm that can spring forth in any mood or tone. El
Michels Affair has managed to capture that idea and express it in an
impressive first album release on funk/soul label Truth&Soul Records.
The collective essentially stems from the union of Leon Michels and
Nick Movshon, two former band mates who paired up creating music
with a Tascam 388 eight track machine. The gritty, soulful sound
began to take shape with the addition of more members until the
group became nine in total. Keep that in mind. They gained notoriety
in 2005 with the release of Sounding Out The City. The critical acclaim
brought them a deal with Scion and led them to collaborate extensively
with none other than the Wu-Tang Clan, who also were nine in number
before ODB’s untimely passing. Coincidence? Not hardly.
This album is a soulful masterpiece, working with a heavy banter
between horns and drums with slight touches of bass that never
overpower the flow of the track. “Detroit Twice” is a funk-laden
groove that evokes rooftop parties and slow drives in an Eldorado. They surprise with a cover of Issac Hayes’ oft-sampled classic, ‘Hung Up On My Baby’ that lays the bass on thick. ‘Musings to Myself’
is such an introspective and magnetic track with its trumpet chorus that Ghostface Killah used it as a backdrop for a song on ‘The Big Doe Rehab’. For this summer, do yourself a favor and get this album to get a feel for how El Michels Affair demonstrates how a city can have a distinct rhythm.
‘Detroit Twice’ by El Michels Affair