Socalled explains the revival of Yiddish culture in an Scena Musicale article

Updated: Jul 30, 2019



The Scena Musicale interviewed Socalled in their October edition and talked about his project Di Frosh with string quartet.

Here are some excerpts:

“A fixture on the Montreal music scene with an impressive following abroad, Josh Dolgin, a.k.a. Socalled, has been dubbed “the mad wizard of Yiddish hip-hop.” Over the last two decades, his whimsical blend of seriously irreverent artistry has popped up in concert halls, clubs and cinemas, as he dabbles in cartooning and magic and takes part in far-flung collaborations like Tales from Odessa, his Yiddish gangster puppet musical for the Segal Centre, and the Juno-nominated album AKOKA, with classical cellist Matt Haimovitz and klezmer clarinettist David Krakauer.”

“This fall sees the release of both his original queerotic film The Housesitter along with a new album of largely traditional Yiddish theatre songs with the Hamburg-based Kaiser Quartett. Predictable he is not.”

“A culture of literature, music, art, dance, and language once truly on the brink of extinction has been fostered and resurrected through concerts, lectures, classes, and recordings, as well as festivals like the annual KlezKanada in the Laurentians.”

“Touring the album around the world, Dolgin is performing with a new string quartet in each city, including Venice, London, Boston, New York, and Toronto (with the Montreal-based Warhol Dervish) and for later dates in Paris and Moscow. “It’s been super cool and edifying and gratifying,” he says. “This is music that is bursting with passion. These incredible virtuoso musicians; they’re basically freaking out wherever I go.”

"Socalled’s Die Frosh seems proof that the living, breathing Yiddish culture is here to stay. “The over-sentimentalizing of this music is over,” he says, “This is world-class music. It’s a treasure that needs to be shared.”

To learn more about Socalled Sings with Strings, click here.

To read the full article, click here.

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