Solomon and Socalled: Hip Hop Khasene (2002)
Billed as a marriage of fiddle and microphone, Hip Hop Khasene unites traditional Jewish klezmer dance music with contemporary DJ beats and mixes. The bride is Sophie Solomon, AKA London Jungle DJ Starets and resident violinist for klezmer band Oi-Va-Voi that features drum n’ bass and house along with traditional melodies and rhythms. The groom is Josh Dolgin, AKA master magician mixologist DJ Socalled and resident beatmaster to New York City’s klez-elite.
Both bride and groom evidence deep respect for tradition on beautiful straight klezmer pieces like the fiddle and tsimbele "Dobriden", the doinaesque violin/clarinet duet “Electro Taxim” and the bride’s homage to her great grandmother “Pagamenska”. At the same time, century old “badkhn” style raps are updated in a master MC duel filled with irreverent pokes at the “institution” by the groom. There are instances when the festivities do cross over into one-off novelty, but what the heck, it’s a wedding, eat, and enjoy, and mingle with the wedding party.
And what a wedding party it is. The best man is clarinetist extraordinaire David Krakauer, who toasts the marriage with some superb swing-klez playing. Krakauer is especially evident on the very hot dance mix duet “Freylekhs far de kale” and on a techno version of “Gasn Nign”. Master MC “The Real Slim Litvak”, Michael Alpert, adds an authentic and authoritative air to the proceedings while top trumpeters Susan Watts and Frank London get the party started by pumping out the klezmer brass infested “Freylekhs fun der khupe: Pelt me with Rice”.
The most impressive aspects of Hip Hop Khasene, though, are the mixes. Given the freedom of a full CD, DJ Socalled is able to expand on his previously strong singular efforts for both London and Krakauer. Into each mix he weaves morsels from comedy albums, the Yiddish theater and a potpourri of dubbed in samples. The final “bonus” remix, “Headphoines”, is a break beat celebration of the whole affair that augurs a long and happy marriage. With no apologies to the film, Solomon and Socalled may have produced the phattest wedding yet. Hip Hop Khasene is available at www.digitallisallstars.com.
Track Listing: Introduction, Dobriden, Badd-knones, Freylekhe far der kale, Kale Bazetsn, Electro Taxim, 7 Blessings, Freylekhs fun der khupe: "Pelt me with Rice", Hassidish, Gasn Nign, Zay Gezunt-Pagamenska, Bonus Track: Headphoines
Personnel: DJ Socalled (beats, loops, samples), Sophie Solomon (violin, vioara cu goarna), Josh Dolgin (accordion, glockenspiel, wurlitzer, vocals), David Krakauer(clarinet), Michael Alpert (badkhn), Nik Ammar (guitar, pint glass), Zev Feldman (tsimbl), Susan Hoffman-Watts (trumpet), Frank London (trumpet)