New Music Round Up (El Michels Affair, Graveyard, Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics)

Suppose most folks have heard the new Mastodon and Manchester Orchestra or at the very least the single from It’s Blitz! That said, I figured I’d drop some knowledge on some fantabulous jams from around the globe.

First up
El Michels Affair – 37th Chamber. link
Yes, as the name suggests, this is directly related to Wu’s 36 Chambers however, what we’ve got here is an uber talented group of players paying direct homage instrumentally to that classic Wu epic. The concept is simple, get a bunch of great musicians together and remake 36 Chambers with live instruments. Standouts like, “Can It All Be So Simple” is transformed into a slow brooding jam replete with a clave backbeat and some seriously juicy brass work. “Cherchez La Ghost” blasts off into a strange land of analog synth and wah guitar. These geniuses take what RZA and the Clan cobbled together from old casios and ‘under the carpet’ R&B samples and made a masterpiece hip hop record. Just wait til you hear the childrens choir on that ODB classic “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” children chanting ‘Wu Tang’!

El Michels Affair pays respect then pays it forward tenfold with an entirely new and refreshed ‘remix’ in 37th Chamber. RIYL Curtis Mayfield, Wu Tang, Blacksploitation Soundtracks, Kung Fu

Graveyard – Graveyard. link
These Nordic knights of tundra metal take the formula of Captain Beyond/Blue Cheer/Black Sabbath and run with it. Yes it is derivative. Yes they mangle the english language. Yes there are a few note by note riffs from Jimi Hendrix and Tony Iommi. All that said, Graveyard is a classic album NOW.

RIYL – Sabbath, Captain Beyond, Guitars, Smoking Pot

Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics – Inspiration Information 3 link
I still haven’t really been able to get into that Flying Lotus (los angeles) record, not like it was touted as the next Introducing by DJ Shadow. I’ll call bullshit on that, only because I’m sentimentally attached to Introducing being that it was THE soundtrack of my freshman year in college (I’ve conveniently omitted Earth Crisis from all past playlists). So, this trip hop or whatever the kids are calling it these days has become more eccentric. Dangermouse upped the ante with the Grey Album. Girl Talk is the most Mashable and LCD Soundsystem is IDM for the art school/fixed gear/american apparel clique. Love them all I do, but for those of you with a bit more of a sensitive palate, you may find a lot of herbs and spices in the Heliocentrics.

This record represents the possibility of what would occur if the dudes from Don Cab were into Funkadelic and afro-funk like Fela Kuti instead of punk rock. It is a cross breeding of all the most prominent parts from Buena Vista Social Club, Ghanaian Funk, Dr. Who theme song, and surf rock. If Henry Mancini took acid he’d make music like this-wait, maybe he did take acid. Okay then this could be the off spring of Henry Mancini and that smelly frenchman Serge Gainsbourg.

That is a fairly accurate account of my favorite three new records. Check em out. They are delicious!

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