Unathi / Zaharila

12/06/2018NYC's El Michels Affair Drops New Bollywood-Inspired 45

This one definitely caught us off guard because let's just say we weren't expecting Leon Michels to go 'World' on us. Better known under his El Michels Affair moniker, the New York-based artist garnered international acclaim for his 2009 Wu-Tang Clan cover project "Enter the 37th Chamber" and its 2017 follow-up "Return to the 37th Chamber". 

Now, the El Michels Affair returns with a new 45 on Big Crown Records that is quite unlike his previous releases. Joining forces with vocalist Piya Malik, one half of the Brooklyn band 79.5, Michels delves into the world of Bollywood Funk. And even though we had trouble grasping the lyrics, we instantly hit repeat: 

"'Unathi' reels the listener in and keeps them through a journey of psychedelic arrangements, unexpected detours, and relentless rhythm. Lyrically, 'Unathi' is a song about progress, a vociferous call to arms urging people to come together and work collectively to achieve it. Gracing the B-side is 'Zaharila', a cinematic, dynamic, and almost visual number as if it were the score to a film that’s never existed. Bent guitar notes and blaring horn stabs ride the peaks and valleys of this epic tale about poisonous whispers that destroy a beautiful love affair." 

The amazing artwork was provided by Chicago-based Deadly Prey Gallery. The original painting was made by Ghanaian artist Mustapha Kemal for the Teshie-based Loversa Video Club, advertizing the 1991 Hindi thriller "Ajooba Kudrat Ka". 

You can listen to "Unathi" in the SoundCloud player above and "Zaharila" in the Visualizer below. Big up to El Michels Affair for this one!

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom