It's official – London doesn't suck when it comes to creative Jewish culture, as Psychosemitic has now landed. The long-awaited club night made its debut at the old Spitalfields Market venue the Spitz, on Saturday April 22, with a capacity filled 200 plus people packing the place to find out what all the fuss was about.
Headlining the event were Emunah, an eight-piece, five of whom aren't Jewish but perform Jewish themed material in a drum n'bass meets hip hop meets indie style. Fronting the band is Dan Silverstein, ably assisted on vocals by Vika Evdokimenko, along with other culturally diverse members including DJ Ibrahim, who is of Palestinian origin.
The band performed an energetic set consisting of tracks from their self-titled debut EP along with new material which they will be releasing in the future. They really know how to whip up the audience, with Dan's Streets-like rapping providing the perfect contrast to Vika's vocals. DJ Ibrahim, meanwhile, joined them at the front of the stage for a new track which saw both him and Dan rapping.
The blend of violin-fuelled klezmer and more contemporary dance-inspired music is one which works really well, and at certain points during the set the audience was dancing so much that the floor of the venue shook.
Warming up the evening were Zej, a two-piece Israeli outfit who blend Eastern sounds with African beats and other world-related vibes. They played non-stop for nearly an hour, and were reminiscent of the Orb/Chemical Brothers.
Between the live acts, DJs kept the atmosphere electric, with Ibrahim taking to the decks for a set which included break beats, dance music and even the Dr Who theme. The night also featured live mural-making from Elliott Tucker.
With acts like Emunah, London Jews have never had it so good. Forget New York, if you want the best in contemporary Jewish music, you need look no further than the UK and Psychosemitic.
For more information: www.psychosemitic.com