An accomplished afro-beat outfit in their own right, El Michels Affair first hit the music scene back in ’02 with a 12” single titled “Easy Access Parts 1 & 2.” What is so interesting about their sound is the experimentation of influences being saturated into their music. This innovative type of soul music blends the cinematic quality of 70s soundtracks, the early aesthetic of reggae music, and the rawness of 60s rock.
Today I give you “Criminology,” a vintage-inspired number that I stumbled upon recently and fell in love with immediately. The soundscapes in this track are beyond comparison to many funk-laden instrumental songs I’ve come across. The influences here date back several decades, with reflections of retro soul that is sifted through a filter of hazy, almost psychedelic gloom.
Currently signed to Truth & Soul Recordings, there is a good chance you might have heard of El Michels Affair through the musical grapevine. They’ve been directly sampled for a Ghostface track (their “Musings to Myself” formed the backbone of “Shakey Dog Starring Lolita”), they’ve backed up the Wu-Tang Clan and various solo members in a live-show capacity, and they’ve recorded new backing tracks in the studio with Raekwon (namely a 2007 remake of his noir-soul Pete Rock collabo “PJ’s”).