SoCalled / Ghettoblaster

another delightful photo remix

SoCalled / GhettoBlaster /
JDUB, 105, 2007

JDUB may be gone, but you can get this CD from the SoCalled Store.

It has been seven years or more since Josh Dolgin, better known as "SoCalled" first played some of the tracks from this recording for me at KlezKanada. It has been on my "permanent rotation" list ever since. This is the recording where I first noticed SoCalled as a writer. Sings like "These are the Good Old Days" and "You are never alone" (a song about the Yiddish cowboy) are engraved into my psyche, not just memory. The latter unleashes the voice of Katie Moore; it's lyrics dig into existential questions far from the wild west; and then the song fuses remixed choir, rap, and the aforementioned lyrical singing. Divine. From the ongoing remixes of 'Jewish music from the last century (including brilliant reworkings of the early 20th century Yiddish hit, "Baleboste" and "Ich bin a border bei mayn veib"--listen for the mashup with "young man, single and free"), this is one of the landmark recordings of our time.

There are also songs that try different directions, such as the Turkish beat of "Let's get wet," the balkan/rap/yiddish fun of "Rece" Cica,"" or the adult contemporary-ish piano of Richard Rogers' "Slaughter on 10th Avenue," revisted later, plaintively, and morphing into hasidic "bim boms" and then full-fledged rap verses flowing— and then almost quotes Lou Reed—or Jewish summer camp singalong directors, "and the boys say," "and the girls say"); or the delightful capture of an informal Theo Bikel caught reminiscing off-guard. There are some special collaborative moments, such as the mix of Theo Bikel singing "Belz" with Socalled's rap on "Rock the Belz!" or the improvisation with Gonzales on "Slaughter Interlude".

Listening to this recording, you get a sense of entirely new music being created. It is presented not as a polished, saran-wrapped artifact, but with hooks into the process and the context of that creation. Like I said. Transformative. And an awful lot of fun to listen to. You can get your copy from the SoCalled Store

Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 5 October 2014

Personnel this recording:
Josh "Socalled" Dolgin: AKAI MPC 1000, Hammond organ, ARP synthesizer, piano, Wurlitzer, vocals
Ahmadou: vocals
Ganesh Anandan: percussion
Theodore Bikel: vocals
Bert Bolden: steel drum
Phil Bova, Jr.: drumset, tambourine, snaps, whistling, echoplex
Stuart Brotman: bass
Ron Caswell: tuba
Adrienne "Agent" Cooper: vocals
Matt Darriau: nai, saxes
Antal "Puma" Fekete: contra viola
Irving Fields: piano, voice
Giselle Numba One: vocals
Doris Glaspie: vocals
Teah Downey: vocals
Gonzales: piano, vocals
Elaine Hoffman Watts: drums
Kali: vocals
David Krakauer: clarinet
Frank London: trumpet
Manspino: turntables
Nicolae Margineanu: cymbalom
Erika Miller: violin
Katie Moore: vocals
C-Rayz Walz: vocals
Susan Watts: trumpet
Alan Watsky: guitar
Rainer Weins: guitar
The Four Freres (Andrew Burr, Joe Cobden, Leon Louder, Josh Dolgin): vocals
Rodney Sothman: bass
Shayna and Connie: vocals
S.P.: vocals
Sophie Trudeau: violin
Fred Wesley: trombone
Bob Schwimmer: theremin
Subtitle: vocals
the Reich Kids: vocals

with Beyond the Pale
Erik Stein: mandolin
Martin van de Ven: clarinet
Brett Higgins: bass
Milosj Popovitch: accordion
Bogdan Djukic: vocals
Aleksandar Gajic: violin

Song Titles

  1. Ghettoblaster intro (Josh Dolgin) 2:22
  2. (These are the) good old days (words: Josh Dolgin; music: Josh Dolgin, Antal Fekete) 5:17
  3. Let's get wet (Josh Dolgin) 3:20
  4. You are never alone (Doris Glaspie, Katie Moore, C-Rayz Waltz, Josh Dolgin based on melody by R. Samuel Elyahu Taub) 4:31
  5. Slaughter on 10th Avenue (Richard Rogers) 2:13
  6. Ich bin a border bei mayn veib (David Buchbinder) 3:41
  7. (Rock the) Belz (Josh Dolgin) 5:11
  8. Rece Cica (Josh Dolgin) 4:31
  9. Slaughter Interlude (Josh Dolgin) 1:53
  10. Heart Attack Feeling (Josh Dolgin; arr. Dolgin and Gonzales) 6:39
  11. Baleboste (Josh Dolgin) 5:18
  12. Bikel Family Nigun (Josh Dolgin) 0:48
  13. Let's get wet(louder remix) (Josh Dolgin) 6:07

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