El Michels Affair & Black Thought | Glorious Game - Black LP
Release date: 14.4.2023
An album of Black Thought rhyming over El Michels Affair tracks. Features Brainstory, KIRBY, and Son Little. When Leon Michels and El Michels Affair released their first record, Sounding Out The City, in 2005, it was hard to guess what was next for Michels and his then-introduced, now-patented “cinematic soul” sound. Now, four EMA studio albums and scores of tribute and remix projects later all while producing for some of the biggest names in the industry Michels has trademarked his sound, with each project taking audiences somewhere new and pushing the boundaries of what he is known for. The man is a river, not a lake and this time he takes his golden touch into the realm of hip-hop laying down a musical bed for one of the greatest to ever rhyme into a microphone: Black Thought of The Roots crew.
Michels and Black Thought have been in each other's orbit for a while now. The two first met in the 2000s when Thought was first getting familiar with the contemporary soul scene. "Out of that whole world, Menahan Street Band was probably my favourite," recalling the funk and soul group Michels was a founding member of back in 2007. Fast forward a few years and musicians from that collective Dave Guy on trumpet and Ian Hendrickson-Smith on sax are now full time players with The Roots.
Being that Black Thought is the co-founder and emcee for, hands down, the best live-band group in hip-hop. Michels took a decidedly different approach to this project and instead of sending recorded tracks of live compositions, he pulled out the sampler and sampled himself and some records from his collection. "I'm a big fan of soul music," as if Michels has to remind us. "And part of hip-hop's appeal to me has always been the sample-based production". The result is an organic feel of loop-based tracks that breathe and fluctuate enough for Black Thought to ‑ex on. "What I write about is determined by the equation of the producer's energy and my energy," Black Thought says. "It's about where we meet."