On Thursday, Nov. 8 from 9 p.m. to midnight, University of Massachusetts students enjoyed the “Israel After Dark” event at the Amherst Brewing Company.
The event was organized by the UMass Students Alliance for Israel (SAFI), a pro-Israel group on campus that has planned and hosted many Israel-related cultural events since its inception.
Although SAFI contains only Israel in its title, the event was a fusion of both American and Israeli music, bar and late night cultures.
The DJ, Eyal Rob, is one of the four members of Soulico, an Israeli DJ crew. The crew released its debut album with JDub Records in 2007, following a series of very successful shows and underground mix tapes in Israel.
Eyal and the rest of the members are the first DJs in the Middle East to master the trifecta of production, turntables and party-rocking skills. They turn the turntable and DJ into a band. Eyal and the other members jump on top of each other’s cuts to create perfect mixes and keep the party going, using three or four turntables, two mixers and a drum machine/sampler.
Soulico is known for its original songs and mashups, and blends of Israeli dope grooves, Jewish melodies and American hip-hop tracks.
People danced to both Israeli and American popular tracks and artists, including Hadag Nahash, Beyoncé, and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” on Thursday night. Eyal also gave a presentation on Israeli music in which he discussed several Israeli artists, music genres and showed Israeli music videos.
These events include guest speakers, Israel Independence Day celebrations and dinner parties. The group frequently works together with the UMass Hillel. UMass senior accounting major Melanie Malc is the president of SAFI.
Idan Teram, the Israeli Fellow at the UMass Hillel, said that he and SAFI will do more cultural events at UMass and the area throughout the school year.
Roy Aloni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.