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Idol Chatter

Two key players at J-Dub Records, the label that was summarily dissed and dismissed by the Hasidic hipster Matisyahu last month, appeared on “Soundcheck,” on New York City’s public radio station, yesterday to discuss the label’s future. Aaron Bisman and Jacob Harris (left) sounded more world-weary than bitter about the split with Matisyahu (though they were sure to point out which of the reggae-reb’s hits from his gold album, “Live at Stubbs,” were written by Ben Hesse, Bisman’s co-founder). While they were proud to be giving young Jews a modern, modish way to build community, the pair made clear that they didn’t see the Jewish market as even the primary audience for their artists.

Noted, but it’s hard to imagine lightning like Matisyahu striking twice. The label’s latest signings–including SoCalled, a “dorky white Jewish kid” from Montreal who taught himself Yiddish to make klezmer hip-hop; Golem, who count among their influences The Pogues, They Might Be Giants, and gypsies from the Ukraine; and the multinational collective Balkan Beatbox–all lack the rush of weird wailings of the bearded, black-clad Matisyahu.

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