Solomon & Socalled HipHopKhasene (Piranha)
Klezmer denotes a class of celebratory Jewish dance music played at weddings, parties or festivals. Solomon & Socalled catapult klezmer into the 21st century with spirit-soaring results.
HipHopKhasene hit No. 8 on the European world music charts last summer, and for good reason. In an age when most traditional musical forms are routinely watered down and homogenized, it is a delight to discover young artists taking a fresh look at a centuries-old genre.
Socalled, now 27, is a self-described Canadian "magician, cartoonist, pianist, photographer, animator, DJ and beat-writer" who creates a surreal mix of early 20th century Jewish recordings, hip-hop English and post-modern Yiddishisms that literally refurbishes the klezmer medium. In addition to beats, loops and samples, he provides accordion, Fender Rhodes, glockenspiel, Hammond organ, piano and Wurlitzer.
Sophie Solomon, a klezmer violinist and "raga jungle DJ" is a founding member of London's Oi-Va-Voi, a band of klezmer breakbeat fusionists that was nominated for a BBC World Music Award. Add in such respected artists as the endlessly inventive clarinetist David Krakauer, multi-talented instrumentalist and scholar Michael Alpert, and the mother-daughter combo of Elaine and Susan Hoffman-Watts, and you've got a mind-blowing experience.