El Michels Affair
|El Michels Affair|
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|Labels||Big Crown, Truth & Soul, Fat Beats|
|Associated acts||Menahan Street Band, The Arcs, Wu-Tang Clan, The Shacks, Lee Fields, Freddie Gibbs|
El Michels Affair is an American "cinematic soul" group led by New York-based musician Leon Michels. The group released its debut album Sounding Out The City in 2005. After touring behind Raekwon and other Wu-Tang Clan members, the group recorded the popular cover album Enter The 37th Chamber in 2009. After releasing other cover albums during the following decade, El Michels Affair released the original albums Adult Themes in 2020 and Yeti Season in 2021.
Michels played with Soul Fire Records house band The Mighty Imperials before forming his own ensemble in 2002. This group released singles for Soul Fire and for Misty, a sublabel of Daptone Records, as well as a full-length album which was released on the Michels-cofounded label Truth & Soul Records in 2005. Titled Sounding Out the City, the album drew from library music and afrobeat influences. After performing with Raekwon at a concert, the group began working with other members of the Wu-Tang Clan and covered several of their songs for vinyl single releases. By 2009, this had yielded an album's worth of material, which was released in 2009 as Enter the 37th Chamber, the name is a play on the album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). El Michels Affair followed this with a second album of arrangements of songs by Wu-Tang Clan and from its members' solo releases, titled Return to the 37th Chamber.
El Michels Affair began the 2020s with new original material; they released their album Adult Themes in 2020 and followed it less than a year later with the Turkish pop and prog-inspired Yeti Season in March 2021; the album features vocals from Hindi language singer Piya Malik and The Shacks.
- Leon Michels – bandleader and producer, tenor saxophone, flute, keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion, engineering
Other contributors include:
- Homer Steinweiss – drums
- Nick Movshon – bass, drums, guitar
- Thomas Brenneck – guitar, bass
- Michael Leonhart – trumpet, brass
- Toby Pazner – keyboards
- Aaron Johnson – trombone
- Sean Solomon – guitar
- Dave Guy – trumpet
- Marco Benevento – keyboards
|Sounding Out The City||
Tribute & remix albums
|Enter The 37th Chamber||
|Walk On By (A Tribute To Isaac Hayes) EP||
|Return To The 37th Chamber|
(with Liam Bailey)
|PJs... From Afar
|The Diamond Mine Sessions
(with Freddie Gibbs & Madlib)
|"Detroit Twice" / "Too Late To Turn Back"||2003||Sounding Out The City||Misty||7"|
|"Creation" / "Behind The Blue Curtains"||2005||Truth & Soul||7"|
|"C.R.E.A.M" / "Glaciers of Ice" (Wu-Tang cover)||2006||Enter The 37th Chamber||7"|
|"Duel of The Iron Mic" / "Bring Da Ruckus" (Wu-Tang cover)||7"|
|"Musings To Myself" / "Spread Your Soul"||2008||7"|
|"4th Chamber" / "Snakes" (Wu-Tang cover)||2016||Return To The 37th Chamber||Big Crown||7"|
|"Tearz" / "Verbal Intercourse"||7"|
|"Strange Boy" / "No Surprise" (feat. The Shacks)||non-album single||7", digital|
|"Shadow Boxin" / "Iron Maiden" (Wu-Tang cover)||2017||Return To The 37th Chamber||7"|
|"Never Be Another You"||2018||Non-album single||7"|
|"Unathi" / "Zaharilia" (feat. Piya Malik)||Yeti Season||7", digital|
|"Reasons" (feat. Bobby Oroza) / "Hipps"||2020||7", digital|
|"Dhuaa" (feat. Piya Malik)||Yeti Season||digital|
|"Sha Na Na" (feat. The Shacks)||digital|
|"Murkit Gem" (feat. Piya Malik)||2021||7", digital|
|"Awkward (Take 2)" (with Liam Bailey)||Ekundayo Inversions (with Liam Bailey)||digital|
- El Michels Affair at Allmusic
- "El Michels Affair, "Yeti Season"". Bandcamp Daily. 2021-03-24. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
- Review of Enter the 37th Chamber. Pitchfork Media, May 11, 2009.
- Review of Enter the 37th Chamber. Consequence of Sound, April 25, 2017.
- Review of Enter the 37th Chamber. Allmusic.
- "Freddie Gibbs And Madlib: Tiny Desk Concert". NPR.org. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
- "Freddie Gibbs Says He's Making More Music With Madlib and Shares 'The Diamond Mine Sessions'". Complex. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
- "Adult Themes, by El Michels Affair". El Michels Affair. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
- "Yeti Season, by El Michels Affair". El Michels Affair. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
- "Adult Themes, by El Michels Affair". El Michels Affair. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
- "Yeti Season, by El Michels Affair". El Michels Affair. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
- "Return To The 37th Chamber, by El Michels Affair". El Michels Affair. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
- "Ekundayo Inversions, by El Michels Affair meets Liam Bailey". El Michels Affair. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
- "Loose Change EP, by El Michels Affair". El Michels Affair. Retrieved 2021-03-12.