Beat Diaspora: Beats, Buses, Bricks

an omnivorous take on music of the beat-based variety and the urban spaces that nurture it

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Zion ina . . . Zion

Much too much delay, but my trip to Israel merits comment all the same. Some might be affiliated with the vast cottage industry of Taglit-Birthright, whose main goal, according to friends who have gone, is to convince you to make aliyah (right of return -- instant Israeli citizenship for all Jews worldwide). I had the fortune of attending a similar (in the sense of free) trip, that thankfully wasn't so ideologically driven. The politics are inescapable and I want to get to them, but first I need to share some of my Mesopatamian soundtrack.

Hip-hop may get the lionzion's share of the credit for having gone global, but it's (older) brother-from-another-mother has definitely gone a global too. It was not too much of a surprise, then, to find Jewish reggae that decidedly isn't black-Jew-face. Instead, they had the imprimatur of Sabbo Ronen of the Soulico Crew (check out their mix of Israeli party beats), who happened to be behind the counter of a record store I hit up in Tel Aviv -- and part of the same crew as DJ C's friend Itai, the one who hooked him up with B-more ina Jerusalem a few summers back, although I unfortunately didn't have the same opportunity given my tight schedule. Small, small beat-friendly world, it is.

Ex-Centric Sound System - Blessed Love (ft. Richi Bless)

"This one have African paws innit, this one have Nubian paws innit, this one comin at you from Israel! This one is straight from anywhere all over the world."

Eccentric, like Israelis gone a foreign? Ex-centric like Jamaica as point of reference, not that omphalos at the center of it all? Jerusalem Syndrome--Messiahs--Haile Selassie--Ethiopia--Operation Solomon?

Ex-Centric Sound System - Wildest Dub (Solomon's Dub)

"I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broadways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not." (Song of Solomon, 3:2)

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