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Socalled: 'Ghettoblaster Intro'

Creating a hybrid genre can be a risky undertaking, but Montreal's Josh Dolgin, also known as Socalled, successfully works to modernize Klezmer sounds by adding hip hop and classic funk styles. The young accordion player says the technique introduces people to traditional music associated with Jewish cultural history. "I think the younger generation wants and needs a connection to their past, and we're trying to provide that through music."

Socalled's Ghettoblaster explores neighborhoods of Eastern Europe and Jewish communities while using R&B and soul vocals, drum breaks, and an array of different moods. The odd combination of styles forms a surprisingly natural sound. The opening track "Ghettoblaster Intro" has a warm, crackling quality. Scattered steel and sampled drums come in to give the track a loose, urban feel. The album also features vocals from C-Ray Walz, Wu-tang Clan's Killah Priest, and Irving Fields.

Outside of performing as Socalled, Josh sings for the gypsy folk group Beyond the Pale and the traditional Klezmer band Streiml. He was also a choir director for the Addath Israel Choir for High Holidays and contributes to Jewish folk festivals.

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