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spacer MP3: El Michels Affair - "C.R.E.A.M." (Wu-Tang Cover) 04.27.2009
spacer El Michels Affair Gives New Soul To Timeless Wu-Tang Song spacer

Critical Praise for El Michels Affair:

"Usually, hip-hop samples funk and jazz to manufacture its crowd-pleasers. Cinematic soul pusher El Michels Affair has reversed that polarity on its sophomore effort by revising Wu-Tang Clan’s immortal debut, Enter the 36th Chamber, using only El Michels’ taut rhythm section and a devoted love of hip-hop." -

"The ensemble approaches the Wu-Tang material with genuine appreciation and artistry, bringing out some of the original influences that RZA's brilliant production drew on in the first place." -

The Song:

Last week, El Michels Affair released Enter The 37th Chamber, a collection of instrumental reinterpretations of Wu-Tang Clan classics. One part homage, one part new creation, El Michels Affair has been able to add their own flair and flavor to each instrumental on the album, and their take of "C.R.E.A.M." serves as the perfect example. The group's masterful instrumentation - cleverly placed horns, slinky drums, and smooth rhythm guitar - works to gives the El Michels version of this Wu-Tang classic its own unique feel, while the piano melody line carries the distinctiveness that all Wu fans will instantly recognize. Creating worthy covers of classic songs is a tough task; creating versions that stand on their own is even tougher. Yet, with "C.R.E.A.M." El Michels Affair has done just that.

The Background:

El Michels Affair, at the core of the retro-soul and funk movement, is led by saxophonist/organist Leon Michels and producer/engineer Jeff Silverman. The group began as a series of informal collaborative sessions with musicians from top-selling acts Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, The Budos Band, and Antibalas. In 2005, the group released their debut effort, Sounding Out The City on Truth & Soul, a label co-founded by Silverman and Michels. Since the album's '05 release, the El Michels sound has been prominent on successful collaborations with Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Just Blaze, Adele, and Iggy Pop. Furthermore, in 2007, a horn part written and performed by Leon Michels was lifted and used for Jay-Z's "Roc Boys," the lead single from the American Gangster album. Most famously, however, is El Michels 2007 tour with Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon, which led to the recording of two widely successful 7" instrumental singles for "C.R.E.A.M." and "Bring Da Ruckus." Since then, El Michels Affair has diligently been in the studio, interpreting fifteen of some of the most legendary and well-know Wu-Tang Clan songs, including "Can It All Be So Simple," "Protect Ya Neck," "Cherchez La Ghost," and "Incarcerated Scarfaces" for their upcoming sophomore album, Enter the 37th Chamber, due in stores on April 21st via Fat Beats Records.

El Michels Affair Career Highlights:

• Horn line written and performed by Leon Michels (for Menahan Street Band) lifted by Jay-Z for "Roc Boys," the lead single from his Grammy-award winning, platinum album, American Gangster.

• Produced track "Right As Rain" from singer Adele's Grammy-award winning, debut album, 19.

• Produced officially commissioned remix of Amy Winehouse's "Love Is a Losing Game" from Grammy-award winning, multi-platinum album, Back In Black.

• Worked with super-producer Just Blaze on song included on forthcoming Saigon album, The Greatest Story Never Told.

Web editors contact nora (at)
for interview requests. Print editors contact Michelle.

Like what you hear? Keep up with El Michels Affair and other artists like Freddie Foxxx, Ill Bill, and eLZhi on the Fat Beats Blog where you can learn about upcoming performances, releases, and in-store appearances.

Also, check out this video on the history of Fat Beats Records, bringing you fresh, independent hip hop since 1994.


"Glaciers Of Ice"

"Bring Da Ruckus"


Bio, pictures, and streams available here:

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