Wednesday, July 15, 2009


My friend and co-worker Efim gave me a CD a while back just on the strength that it was something he thought I'd enjoy. Not that a CD is the most extravagant of gift's that a DJ or music-lover can get, but it's nice to have people who look out for you and have similar interests and appreciations. At the time, I was certainly familiar with the name Mark Ronson (and admittedly had some preconceived notions) but had not really heard much from the dude until I was passed this copy of his debut album 'Version.' It might have taken a couple listens to soak up all that the record contains, but I must say that this album is something to check for (now that it's been out for a couple years or whatever.) This is some funky, soulful stuff. Of course, it doesn't hurt that names like Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Kenna and others are featured vocalists on the record, but in truth I'm equally if not moreso impressed by the music here. Call it pop, call it soul, I don't know how you classify this otherwise, but I like this. Don't get it twisted, not everything on here suits me or is top-notch, but when it's right it's right. A couple (of the handful) of standouts are the Coldplay-inspired uptempo rendition of "God Put A Smile On Your Face" featuring the horn section from The Daptones and "Apply Some Pressure" featuring British singer Paul Smith.

On a similar note, I once gave a copy of 'Sounding Out the City' to my friend Monica and my description of the album was that it sounds just the way that it looks (below)...I'm not sure my words can truly do justice to how strong this record is. So, in this case with my buddy Efim, when it was time to return the favor, I once again offered up one of my own copies of 'Sounding Out the City,' the debut full-length from El Michels Affair. I told him the same thing I told sounds just as it looks.

That said, if you've not heard this record, in short, you truly are missing out. Many people have spoken/written praise for El Michels Affair for their covers of Wu-Tang tracks, etc. (I got to see them live at XM a few years back with Wu doing that shit live...for real, one of the many beautiful perks of working at a place like XM,) but they truly shine when they do their own original stuff, and in most cases 'Sounding Out the City' is original stuff from the group (save for an Isaac Hayes cover.)

Soul, funk, whatever...this is good music. Take it in...

Got a couple vinly-exclusive take-alongs for you here as well.

First, a little break from Leon Michels and crew...and second, another bit of smooth from the Truth & Soul Records camp, some classic material.

El Michels Affair - EMA break

Black Velvet - Is It Me You Really Love?

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