Acclaimed Canadian hip-hop beat maker and Klezmer musician SoCalled, AKA Josh Dolgin, has returned from 2005's The SoCalled Seder with his next installment in the reinvention of Jewish music through hip-hop. Ghettoblaster, the new LP from this hip-hop visionary features a vast palette of musical influences, with Dolgin himself mining rich traditional Jewish music and fusing it with his own contemporary sound. The album spans multiple genres, from rock to funk and jazz, all the while returning to SoCalled's collage-like hip-hop beats. While Ghettoblaster contains a myriad of influences and musical styles, ultimately it surpasses all of these, revealing the unique and incomparable talents that Josh Dolgin has to offer.
Ghettoblaster features more than a multitude of guests and collaborators, from renowned artists such as JB's trombonist Fred Wesley, Theodore Bikel, Gonzales, C-Rayz Walz, and David Krakauer, to lesser known but multi-talented players such as country chanteuse Katie More, Montreal based MC Subtitle, and gospel singer Doris Glaspie. In addition to handling production and MC duties, SoCalled also covers duties on organ, synthesizer, and Wurlitzer. The end result is a completely realized amalgamation of traditional and modern influences, evoking a sound reminiscent of the past while standing squarely in the present.
While he's been crafting his unique sound since he was 15 and was introduced to the MPC, SoCalled also developed into something of an urban Renaissance-man, working all the while as a photographer, animator, journalist, and magician. He's played salsa, gospel, rock, funk, and yes, Klezmer. After graduating from McGill, he made a 50 minute claymation film for the Canada Council, wrote for Hour Magazine, and began conducting a High Holiday choir at the local Orthodox synagogue. Since releasing The SoCalled Seder, he's toured with Matisyahu and Islands, performed with Killah Priest and Irving Fields, and won awards at Pop Montreal. Ghettoblaster chronicles the life and times of Josh Dolgin, encapsulating these rich experiences that represent not only a lifetime of musical knowledge, but years of cultural observations that juxtapose polar opposites and produces completely captivating music.