Giant Step’s Resident 42: Peter Bjorn And John, Melo-X, Omar, Maiysha and Phil Asher

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Photo of Phil Asher © Jaecyne Howell

A most curious thing occurred at the office one day. Ambling down the halls I happened upon a bin of unwanted swag. While it’s usually chock full of crap like cookbooks by convicted felons and posters of small-town yokels named Lil’ No No, this time teetering at the top of the heap were three albums from artists that apparently no one else in the office cared about: 88-Keys, Peter Bjorn & John and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ roiling SNL performance the week before was the highlight of my recent sojourn to Boston and I’ve been diggin’ the shimmery, disco gloss they’ve slathered on their signature reckless glammy rock. I’m all over the way the slightly sinister opening strains set up the rumbling and unexpectedly groovy “Dragon Queen.”

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Fania Issue 3: DJ Playlist By Snowboy & Ismael Rivera MP3

downloadIn the latest issue of Fania’s newsletter, produced by Giant Step, Latin perussionist and DJ Snowboy shortlists his top 9 favorite Fania tracks.  Stream them here.

In addition, download a free MP3 of “Me Tienes Loco” from Ismael Rivera’s Greatest Hits.

Goodies also include articles on Tito Puente, Héctor Lavoe’s La Voz, and a trivia contest to win a four-disc Lavoe box set.

Check it out here.

 

El Michels Affair Interpolates Wu-Tang Classics On Enter The 37th Chamber

coverWith the release of their finally-completed album Enter the 37th Chamber, El Michels Affair steps out of the shadows of the retro-soul trend and establishes their status as one of the most exciting and versatile bands in modern recorded music.

In 2007, their two smash 7″ singles featuring instrumental reinterpretations of the Wu-Tang classic songs “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Bring Da Ruckus” prompted a contract with indie hip hop powerhouse Fat Beats Records to record an entire album of Wu-Tang Clan interpolations.

Led by saxophonist/organist Leon Michels and producer/engineer Jeff Silverman, El Michels Affair began as a loose collaboration of session musicians (including members of top-selling acts Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, the Budos Band, and Antibalas) that looked to blend some of the vibrant quality of soundtrack records with the recording aesthetic of early reggae, and the rawness of 60′s rock–they called it ‘Cinematic Soul.’

Stream “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Uzi (Pinky Ring)” and “Can It All Be So Simple” here.

Chester French’s Love The Future Debuts Today + In Store Performance @ STEVEN 4/29

final_high-rez-coverToday, D.A. Wallach and Max Drummey of Chester French release their debut album that Pharrell Williams calls, “genius.” The duo traces an aesthetic lineage from Beethoven to Brian Wilson, from Les Paul to Prince to, well, Pharrell, who signed them to his Star Trak label. Together, they see walls coming down with a new generation inspired by innovative artists like Gnarls Barkley and OutKast.

Chester French’s Love the Future is as delightful as it is ambitious. The glorious “She Loves Everybody” mixes sensibilities equally drawing on Motown and power-pop. “Beneath the Veil” throws country twists into hip-hop aesthetics. There’s a curtain-raising “Introduction,” and a couple transition pieces (“The String Interlude” and “Country Interlude”) to help tie it all together and stress that this is, overall, far more than just a collection of songs, but a whole statement.

Click here to listen to tracks and watch “She Loves Everybody.”

Giant Step and Steve Madden present a special in-store performance by Chester French at STEVEN in NYC on 4/29.
Info | Steve Madden Music

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