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Ghettoblaster (Digi)

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 31 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
  • ASIN: B000Q66HH8
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,436 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Ghettoblaster Intro
2. (These Are the) Good Old Days
3. Let's Get Wet
4. You Are Never Alone
5. Slaughter On 10th Avenue
6. Ich Bin a Border By Mayn Vayb
7. (Rock the) Belz
8. Rece Cica
9. Slaughter Interlude
10. Heart Attack Feeling
11. Baleboste
12. Bikel Family Nign
13. Let's Get Wet

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa431d96c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By UVaBCA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
On Thursday, April 15 the Klezmer Ensemble, featuring Socalled, performed at Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia. The ensemble performed traditionally Jewish music with Socalled integrating hip hop and funk into the performance.
The word klezmer was traditionally used to refer to the musical instruments used in secular Jewish music first heard around the 15th century; however, in the late 1900s it became used to describe the professional musicians and then to describe the sounds as their own musical entity.1 The "Yiddish" music ensemble that performed the other night at the University of Virginia incorporated several violins, clarinets, trombones, trumpets, piano, accordions, mandolins, flute, and a bass. The director Joel Rubin combined both undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and community members to play in his ensemble. 2
Socalled can be described as "a hip hop maestro... a musician, producer, composer, arranger, magician, filmmaker, photographer and visual artist." 3 Born as Josh Dolgin, the Quebec resident became interested in playing the accordion at a young age. He played for numerous bands just outside of his community, including salsa, gospel, rock, and funk groups. 2 Never feeling close to his Jewish roots, he began to explore the sounds of old Yiddish records and realized the potential they contained for developing into "cool sounds he could sample to make hip hop beats." 3 He has created his own genre of music, incorporating the old traditional sounds of his Jewish heritage with the new sounds of his own generation and the pop music culture.
To begin the concert, Socalled played the accordion alongside Joel Rubin and the rest of the ensemble. It was a very traditional sounding song and tended to match the vibe of the audience (a mostly above 40 crowd). However, the mood quickly changed as during the next song Socalled was handed over the microphone to rap a Hebrew poem. He then took over the piano and continued to sing with a more pop sound on the next song performed. Next, he participated in a traditional trio style sound of music; however only Rubin on the clarinet and Socalled on the accordion were used. Finally, the sampler was utilized as Socalled put a wonderful back beat to the traditional sounds of the ensemble. He got the entire audience captivated as he performed a magic trick that was done by ripping up pieces of paper while getting the audience to clap with each "rip" sound he produced into the microphone and then stunned all viewers by magically creating a full piece of paper from the scraps. He appeared to just spontaneously push buttons on his sampler but all the previously recorded sounds meshed perfectly and the beats were wonderful additions to the violins and clarinets.
Finally, Socalled got to perform his very own song with his sampler: "These Are the Good Old Days." He changed up some of the lyrics to suit the present audience, but with his sampler he produced an entire band for himself, and then he asked Rubin and a guest trumpet player to accompany him for parts of the song. He also asked for audience participation in singing the "na na na..." part of the melody. The audience responded well to his more modern approach to the Klezmer sounds and actively shouted out their designated part. What could have been a lot of chaotic sounds filling the air blended nicely into a sound that before that night I could not say I had heard.
Socalled is unique in his attempts to blend the old with the new by his creation of digital music beats from Yiddish records and in his ability to combine very different sampled sounds from miscellaneous music genres into one new song. I highly recommend anyone to explore his music and read more about what goes into the creation of each song.

1 - Wikipedia
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3fb35c4) out of 5 stars beautiful Oct. 17 2007
By noneuklid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an extremely well-crafted album. I first discovered it through YouTube's hosted video for "You Are Never Alone," in which the artist (who provides no vocals for this track) symbolically mechanically replaces body parts with those of the actual performers. I ordered the album (through not through Amazon) before it even finished playing. The music -- hiphop and ethnic fusion, with heavy influences from Jewish folk music -- is too dissimilar from anything I know well to adequately summarize, but bears an attention to detail that doesn't detract from its grander sweep. In discussing it with friends, I've compared it to Gorillaz, but only for lack of a better analogy. ...As a last note, something I find personally amusing: "You Are Never Alone" has a (deliberate) Western-ish feel, similar to Mirah (another Jewish artist)'s "Cold Cold Water". I blame Kinky Freidman.
HASH(0xa3fb39fc) out of 5 stars Unique, Intriguing and Great to Listen To April 19 2010
By R. Grasberger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Socalled's Ghetto-Blaster is an awesome juxtaposition of klezmer style music and intense hip-hop loops with rapping and melodies. The klezmer and hip-hop styles constantly grind against each other, but that, in large part, is what makes the music so intriguing. The cheerful klezmer background is eerily joined by talking, singing, rapping and hip-hop beats. The sounds come together to produce a full sound that our ears can experience. The different styles provide many layers of music for the ears to travel through and process, but the end result is appealing even through the slightly irking whiny tones.
The sheer number of voices that are sampled on the album also adds to its appeal. The diversity of tone within the human voices is intriguing and keeps us constantly interested even with all the repeated phrases - both musically and lyrically. The voices all add to the music that seems to plod forward but rarely seems to be plodding toward some end. The consistency makes it nice to listen to, but takes away from the emotional connection to the music. Fortunately, Socalled incorporates some good emotion with the content and the contrast of styles.
The commentary on his Jewish upbringing and beliefs is relevant throughout almost the entire album. He references Judaism both lyrically and stylistically, though it seems we are left wanting more concrete commentary. Though it is unclear where Socalled is going, in what direction he is building with the individual tracks and the album as a whole, the entire thing seems completely and fully genuine. The rhythms and melodies fit together well, showing a true talent for stitching together some very dissimilar styles and traditions. The genuity, though, it was sets Socalled apart from other so-called "artists." His passion for both music and Judaism seems to emit from his work.
In addition to the multitude of human voices that are sampled and used across the album, there is also a diverse group of instruments. This can in part be attributed to different styles that are used. Klezmer music is associated with certain instruments like trumpets and accordians, while hip-hop music is associated with other instruments and synthesizers. The marriage of these styles leads to amazing combinations of instrumentation that are pleasant but rare. The rareness makes the instrumentation and clashing of styles result in what feels like a big breath of fresh air in a kitchen. The feeling is very familiar, but in a unique context that is quite delectable.
Overall, Socalled has created an outstanding album, both in the pleasure of listening to it and the revolutionary styling. The album is full of unique and smart combinations of instrumentation and voices, that are intriguing to the ear and the mind when examined further. There are layers upon layers of sound - all from different sources - and impressively edited together into a package that does not seem disjointed or inappropriate within tracks. My main complaint about the album is that is does not seem to build or grow from song to song, or within specific tracks. This minor concern, though, is assuaged by the surprising pleasure of listening to various styles molded into one new, unique style.
HASH(0xa3fb3dc8) out of 5 stars You Are Never Alone April 19 2010
By Steve Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Socalled, a technosonic artist from Montreal, Canada, uses innovative computer technology to create an inspiring piece, using multiple mediums to produce a range of beats, timbres, and frequencies. "You Are Never Alone" features six distinct human voices throughout the piece, and each brings new elements of complexity and skillfulness.
Similar to 1950's electronic composer Milton Babbit's use of female soprano voices in his pieces, "You Are Never Alone" includes pre-recorded human voice as well as computer-generated vocals. The piece begins with a 1950's radio announcer recording announcing, "and frankly there's nothing so unusual about being a Jewish cowboy". This statement a very intriguing opening to Socalled's modern piece and sets the stage for cultural and religious discussions among listeners. It is rare to find powerful statements in modern music concerning Jewish culture. The initial vocals in this piece present a very unique and profound performance. The remainder of the piece addresses Socalled's relationship to Judaism and its connection to his music through a variety of computer generated sounds.
The dominant vocal aspect in this piece is a modern, acoustic rock sounding female with a very tranquil voice. This vocal hits a range of notes and frequencies and has a dynamic sound. After a few measures, the female voice is interjected by a deep, male rap vocal. This deep voice comes as a surprise, but is not distracting to the listener. It brings a lot of energy and excitement to the graceful female vocal and creates a remarkable duo.
About a quarter of the way into the piece, a soulful female vocal emerges. This vocal has profound lyrics that linger with the listener due to a slower tempo of vocals than the first two. Eventually, all three vocals intertwine and sing in response to one another, almost as if it's a dynamic band performing live on stage. Each vocal serves as a background or complement to the other and their placement within the piece were well chosen to create an element of harmony. The way they come together is reminiscent of James Tenney's work to divide parts of a piece into chunks and rearrange it into a new piece. These three vocals are rarely found in one fluid piece and it sounds as if the artist took voice samples from three distinct pieces and brought them together in a particular order to arrange a unique sound.
The background, which is fluid and consistent throughout the piece, is a looped vocal of what sounds like several males signing, "I'm a cowboy, ba ba bum bump". This loop lingers to the very end of the piece and sticks with the listener after the other vocals have ended. Consistent with the male vocal loops is a distinct bass beat with elements of piano keys and bass instruments played at various tempos and frequencies. All together, Socalled does an excellent job of using multiple vocals, beats, rhythms, and electronic mediums to create a beautiful, well-produced piece.
HASH(0xa3fb3978) out of 5 stars Jewish Funk Fusion April 19 2010
By Cassie Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The song "You are Never Alone" by Socalled is a perfect example of his ability to take many different types of sounds and put them together to create a well composed piece of music. Furthermore, Socalled impressively takes samples from many different types of genres and periods of music to create his song, which none the less comes out as a smooth and composed song. All the sounds he uses are very unaffected, which allows the song to take on a very natural sound, despite being put together out of many different parts.
Socalled uses a traditional Jewish melody and turns it into a modern song. He puts together different artists take on the melody, putting them to create his song. He puts his beat together with samples taken from many different records to make "You are Never Alone". By putting together soulful interpretations of the traditional Jewish folk melody, and also an interpretation by a rapper, he successfully fuses his ethnic roots with a modern hip-hop sound. It is all very neatly put together. None of the samples are put in sloppily. I am impressed by songs where I can not realize that it is made up from samples. It sounds like all the sounds were made for the song, rather than compiled to create it. I was very impressed by the fluid sound that is present throughout "You are Never Alone", as well as the others on the album. He takes sounds from so many different genres and with so many different influences, yet meets the challenge of blending them into his own unique and successful sound. His music is completely original, despite being compiled with only samples taken from other artists. This is such an impressive challenge to overcome and is one that many other artists working with samples completely flop on.
It is very impressive that Socalled turns Jewish folk music into a very cool thing. Despite the lifeless sound that many would describe Jewish folk music with, Socalled finds the beauty in the melodies and does a lot with them. This was his goal, and the song "You are Never Alone," along with the rest of the tracks on the album are proof of his success. It has a very cool and funky feeling from his childhood influences which successfully blend with the influences from his ethnicity to create the sound that has given Socalled a unique sound.