Funky Israeli (sampled) hip-hop from Socalled, Alchemist, and friends
July 16, 2015 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Not since (Socalled's) The Socalled Seder has Hebrew and hip-hop been so thrillingly merged. In his signature funky collage style, Alchemist layers drum brakes, with various warped and looped vintage Israeli records. On “Shalom Alechem,” a pitched up vocal recording of the Sabbath song refrains over a hard, 90s style boom-bap beat, spiced up with intermittent “check it out”s from the voice of an unidentified hype-man. It's awesome.
From Shalom Life's review of The Alchemist's new instrumental album, Israeli Salad. The review also notes that this is similar to Alchemist’s 2012 album Russian Roulette, which uses 1970's Soviet music as its main source material.
posted by filthy light thief (10 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
If you have limited time to listen to new music, Socalled's album is more of a party rap album, cheeky with rappers referencing Israeli cultural items, while Israeli Salad is more of a beat tape, focusing on instrumental productions with weird vocal interludes mixed in. Russian Roulette is more funky production, but also with a lot of guest rappers.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:23 AM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also Alchemist already has another EP out since Israeli Salad.
posted by Hoopo at 10:56 AM on July 16, 2015

Oh wow - Retarded Alligator Beats (Pitchfork review).

He's crazy productive. He also has worked with Oh No to produce an album inspired by the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V, Welcome to Los Santos, released a few months back.

Perhaps Oh No inspired Alchemist, as the former released Dr. No's Ethiopium (YT playlist with 13 track) back in 2009, which was "inspired-by and sampled-from rare 60s and 70s Ethiopian funk, jazz, folk, soul and psychedelic rock." Something about this album gives me a real MF Doom vibe, in a really good way. Fun sounds ranging from quirky to ominous, with lots of plodding boom-bap.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:01 PM on July 16, 2015

Thes One's '07 Lifestyle Marketing is focused on the commercial library music of Herb Pilhofer.

And Oh No's brother Madlib's Shades of Blue, focused on the Blue Note Records catalog, came out in '03.

There are probably older ones, but the oldest example of a mixtape/beat tape focused on one genre/style/country/etc. that I can think of offhand is Kid Capri's classic-breaks-focused 52 Beats, from '92 or so.
posted by box at 12:46 PM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

And if you like this kind of stuff, especially 'Ethiopium,' you should probably check out Madlib's 'Beat Konducta in Africa' and Cut Chemist's one-turntable-and-a-loop-pedal Africa mix, 'Adidas to Addis.' Chief Xcel's Fela tribute, too.

Yeah, this stuff pushes my buttons too.
posted by box at 5:57 PM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yesssssss thank you so much.

I saw SoCalled performing with Geoff Berner last year at Toronto's Ashkenazfest and it was great! Even though it was in the middle of the day and geared towards old bubbies. I would go see either of them in a real show in a heartbeat.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:58 PM on July 16, 2015

'Adidas to Addis' is free (as in beer) from Cut Chemist on Bandcamp!
posted by filthy light thief at 6:43 PM on July 16, 2015

Canadaland listeners (you have been listening, haven't you? You will.) will know him from having created the opening intro for main show and shortcuts and this episode. I am wary to post this as if you don't know what canadaland is it might seem weird, or joking/being serious about trying to 'be a hard interview'. I come away confident the friendship is genuine. And if canada is a place you like, and the news there annoys you perpetually, the work done there is pretty amazing.

As It Happens 'Curried Soul' theme remixer Socalled on how to remix a classic on CBC Music
posted by infinite intimation at 9:21 PM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Socalled's cute little dog Poopsie sings a mean blues as well.
posted by zaelic at 2:46 AM on July 17, 2015

The full Cut Chemist mix is Sound of the Police, btw... great stuff. (full disclosure: I helped with press and promo for the album!)

LA's Bei Ru was previously featured on the blue and blends Armenian music w/ hip-hop. He's great.
posted by raihan_ at 3:32 PM on July 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

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