Abstract Index Playlist - May 6/09
The El Michels Affair have made one of the most interesting funk-like records of the year so far. Funk-like? This is zombie funk, risen from 12 bit digital carbonite reanimated a decade and a half later....
Though the Roots are the undisputed champs of live hip hop grooves, this bizness throttles back the liveness a notch. It's a simple concept - a live, instrumental version of Wu Tang Clan's Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers). This is the work of a full band, but the collective effort is admirable in its restraint. All the tonal elements are quite correctly secondary to the sheer consistency and relentlessness of the drums, which is exactly the way a hip hop cover record ought to sound. There is no hot blood in the band at all, this is entrancingly clinical, perfectly capturing the forlorn Stax abstractions that were the RZAs signature at the time.
It's such a relief not to have some crazy baritone sax solo break out (but you know I love them - the very next song was a little taste of the new Budos Band EP), and just look forward to simply, perfectly executed changes in the music. But El Michels doesn't get carried away with the mechanical nature of hip hop, these are big band arrangements rather than intimate imitations the original samples (a la Alarm Will Sound).
Their combination of severe discipline pulled back from the precipice of historical obsession makes for a successful aesthetic. Bring your own tunes to the next Hip Hop Karaoke...
obama dub - hermanos borachos (no label)
phooey - we can and we must (wcawm)
untitled 7 - box (rune gramofon)
dance of the three fours - qua (mush)
seafoam green - last step (planet mu)
black and tan fantasy - sex mob feat john medeski (thirsty ear)
platin tundra - burnt friedman (nonplace)
tangente finale - fanfare pourpour (ambiances magnetiques)
moosamin, eh? - tim posgate horn band (guildwood)
ballicki bone - hypnotic brass ensemble (honest jons)
bring the ruckus - el michels affair (truth and soul)
hidden hand - budos band (daptone)
radio nufonia - kid koala (ninja tune)
continue to call - nino moschella (ubiquity)
can't get away - rodriguez (light in the attic)
psychedelic afro soul - orlando julius (vampisoul)
yunduya weyu - garifuna women's project (cumbancha)
coat of arms - nosaj thing (alpha pup)
good over evil - daily bread dub (fresh poulp)
chrome optimism/oxygen pt. 4 - dubblestandart feat. david lynch (collision cause of chapter 3)
deeper dub - big bass theory (sir bassa)
(r)evolution - pandadub (fresh poulp)