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Enter the 37th Chamber

4.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

With one foot in the Analog past and eyes firmly set on the future, El Michel's Affair are among the leaders of a resurgent funk &soul movement from New York City. Led by saxophonist/organist Leon Michel's and producer/engineer Jeff Silverman, El Michels Affair began as a loose collaboration of soul session men (including members of top-sellers Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, The Budos Band, and Antibalas), releasing an acclaimed 2005 debut on their burgeoning label Truth & Soul (also the moniker for the duo as a production team). The buzz generated from that album led to Toyota (!) inviting them to do some promotional shows backing Wu-Tang Clan members, which led to more Wu-Tang gigs, which in turn led to a contract with Fatbeats Records to do an album of instrumental Wu-Tang covers and interpretations.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Duel of the Iron Mics
  2. C.R.E.A.M.
  3. Mystery of Chessboxin'
  4. Can It All Be So Simple
  5. Uzi (Pinky Ring)
  6. Interlude
  7. Glaciers of Ice
  8. Cherchez La Ghost
  9. Criminology
  10. Heaven & Hell
  11. Bring Da Ruckus
  12. Protect Ya Neck
  13. Incarcerated Scarfaces
  14. Shimmy Shimmy Ya
  15. Outro
  16. [Untitled]


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Beats
  • ASIN: B001SGFVFY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,097 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's El Michels Affair Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If your first thought when hearing of this is that this is something along the lines of Dynamite Hack, (see Take a Bite Outta Rhyme: A Rock Tribute to Rap), forget that these are "covers" of the beats from a seminal rap album--this work stands on its own as an excellent down-tempo bit of acid jazz and chill. It's atmospheric, relaxed, and organic, and yet never schmaltzy; always delivering a groove that's sophisticated. It has a fantastic retro feel to it, but one that comes across as fully genuine. There is no forced-sounding attempt to be "nerdy old skool," even with the Kingston-like horns punching it up between the scratchy guitars and plinking acoustic piano. It seems clear that no one involved in the making of this felt they had anything to prove to anyone--it's confident, without being arrogant. They sound happy to be playing whether anyone gets what they're saying or not.

It works very well as a soundtrack to anything you want to add a level of urbanity to--cruising is a good activity, for example--but it's involved enough to also command your full attention. I'm very energized and excited by this album, and very few albums do that for me consistently or for more than the first few listens. Several months on of hearing this effort and I feel very confident that I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who wants some sophisticated chillout added to the mix of their life's soundtrack.
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Format: Audio CD
Before listening to this album it was hard to imagine a soul/jazz/funk cover of Wu Tang's masterful '36 Chambers'...but this album takes a classic in exciting instrumental directions. The first two tracks are standouts which establishes the vibe for the album: a nice mix of strings, keys, horns, guitar, slick drums, and a few choice samples of martial arts movies to create a gritty but groovy atmosphere. I'm sure it helps to be a fun of Wu Tang's original album, but I don't think you'd have to be a fan of that album (or hip hop) to really dig this album. Head-noddin' goodness from start to finish. RIYL: anything from DJ Shadow to Medeski Martin Wood, any artists on the Stones Throw label.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm not really a fan of Wutang or any hip hop, and that doesn't matter at all to enjoy this album. I've been listening to it all week, and I still can't get enough. It's funky and jazzy. If you enjoy good music, you should get this.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Yup you heard me. Wu tang killah beez they on the storm!
No rza, no gza, method man, raekwon or old dirty bastard.
But this covers the very best of wu tang. Classiest cover album of all time.
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Format: Audio CD
I love this album front to back! No filers at all. Ive listened to it quite a bit and it does not get old. The way he blends classic Wu tracks is simply amazing. I think even if youre not a wu fan these smooth tracks are so easy to listen to that others will enjoy it. Peace.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nice band. El Micheal's affair make modern soul jazz with hip hop beats,

Two things stand out. This band manages to make this music sound genuine without falling into formula. You are never going to mistake this for Jimmys Smith or McGriff, as the writing is fresh. This is close in spirit, but not sound, to Larry Young: take jazz organ and don't reinvent it but give it a sound that is a different take on the organism. In sound, I am reminded, in allusion and not xerox, of early Kool and The Gang.

The hip beats are mixed back: you are never going to mistake this for a 1963 Blue Note attack. But El Micheal's are smart: they really integrate a modern vibe--superimposing this is what makes most of these types of albums sound vapid and poises them to fail.

Worth checking out
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This album contains excellent instrumental renditions of Wu-Tang Clan songs! I love Wu-Tang music and find that this is great for driving through the city with all the windows down and relaxing to. I think El Michels Affair does a solid job of making these songs accessible to everyone and still being true to the original tracks. Wu-Tang fans will enjoy this and I believe someone who dislikes hip hop would even appreciate this album.

Hopefully, El Michels Affair comes out with another album like this because there is an incredible amount of Wu-Tang material.

This was worth every penny.
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