When we say that Big Crown march to the beat of their own drum, we’re not kidding. El Michels (that’s pronounced Michaels not meeshells Iggy Pop!) takes one of the best artists to come along in the last few years, Liam Bailey, and meets him Uptown on a new record Ekundayo Inversions. We get a taste from the record with the track from the original Ekundayo, “Awkward (Take 2)” done in a totally different way.
When El Michels was recording Ekundayo with Bailey, they did a variety of reggae-inspired tracks from different eras as well as some modern-day R & B joints that would align themselves more with a guy like Frank Ocean than let’s say, Jacob Miller. Still aware of the power of the original voices of the music, El Michels went on to re-lick this set of tracks as only he can do. Applying the same principles a guy like Lee Perry or King Tubby used while they were recording dubs, his versions strayed far from the traditional dub track. The result is a stunning version of “Awkward” from Bailey’s debut on BCR. Completely inverted, “Awkward (Part 2)” comes right along and we can see it settling into a modern Billboard chart or jumping into a movie or television show right away. Sensual and commanding, Bailey’s voice guides the listener as the reworked drum and bass would make D’Angelo’s eyebrows raise. You see, Bailey can adapt, and he does it well. Bailey creates the lane with his voice. El Michels steps on the gas and takes it to another solar system. Listen to the track below, and keep listening to it. It’s what’s happening right now and way ahead of the listening curve. There is much more to come from this label and artist, as the tip of the iceberg has surfaced. Listen to the track and pre-order the record after the stream.