Canadian DJ and musician Josh Dolgin – better known as Socalled – made something of an impact on the Jewish music scene with his 2003 album Hiphopkhasene. The CD, on which he collaborated with Oi Va Voi frontwoman Sophie Solomon, blended traditional Jewish wedding music with hip-hop rhythms, dance beats and samples.
For his follow-up, he's turned his attentions to Passover and come up with The Socalled Seder, which applies the same formula to traditional melodies from the Pesach service. Originally released in 2005, it's well worth a listen if you've not heard it before, and if you have then why not revisit it in honour of the festival.
While Hiphopkhasene featured Solomon and other prominent Jewish musicians including Klezmatics founder member Frank London, The Socalled Seder features appearances from the likes of Jewish clarinet legend David Krakauer and Hassidic reggae superstar Matisyahu
The range of tracks on offer here takes a diverse and highly original journey through the service, from the First Cup (the first three cups of wine each have their own track here, although the fourth cup is strangely absent) through to the Four Questions and Dayenu. Standout tracks, however, include the album's opener Pesach Zeit, and The Ten Plagues, a terrific rap featuring Wu-Tang Clan member Killah Priest.
While this unorthodox approach to the Seder might not be for all tastes, it's great to hear a Jewish musician giving such an original spin to such traditional subject matter, and it's a very worthy follow-up to Hiphopkhasene. It might not get played at too many Seders in the UK this year, but if you're looking to liven up your Passover then look no further.
For more information: www.socalledmusic.com
Listen to the Socalled Seder on the SomethingJewish Show