Song Of The Week, July 9th, 2018

El Michels Affair
Unathi/Zaharila
Big Crown Records BC061-45
released June 22, 2018

For those familiar with EMA, forget what you know. For those unfamiliar with the band, this record is a strange introduction. Unlike the smooth sounds of his debut Sounding Out The City or the uber-funky tracks from the Wu-Tang series, Mr. Michels seems eager to throw a wrench in the gears and get you out of your element.

Resembling a Bollywood Funk chase scene, this record challenges the conventional listener with something almost anxious. Vocals provided by Piya Malik of the band 79.5, who have been making a ton of noise in NY underground. The intro is like raindrops, then the pace picks up. the guitar swoons, and the Ofra Haza-like vocals take you for a cruise and lands in a raucous snare pile, then back on the ride for another helping then, BOOM, it’s like someone broke into your house.

This 45 release stays on theme with the B-side, another El Michaels original. The guitar weeps, the strings wash over the vocals, reminiscent of Connie Francis and a horn section sounding like Tijuana Brass, just swing loud and slow. Then the tempo picks up and gets dizzy. Hold On!

— DJ Slopoke

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