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The Asthmatix – A Very Kosher Quartet

By Dan Hutton on January 6, 2012 in Arts

The Jewish culture is as much steeped in its dark and beautiful history as it is in stereotypes such as Jewish guilt and kosher brisket. Local quartet, The Asthmatix respond to this with an irreverent, off-the-wall, anything-goes brand of hip hop that is equal measures Marx Brothers and Scott Storch, Monty Python and John Zorn.

The Asthmatix have been blending the art of klezmer, hip-hop, Middle Eastern melodies and traditional turntablism since 2007. Whilst New York-based Hasidic homeboy Matisyahu may be helpful as a reference point for the falafel-munching foursome, The Asthmatix are more likely to be compared to the likes of instrumental hip-hop pioneers Hermitude than their fellow Jewish counterpart.

The Asthmatix recently released their highly anticipated debut EP, ‘Go Team Go’, to coincide with the festival of lights, Chanukah.

During the month we caught up with The Asthmatix’ violinist Daniel Weltlinger…

The Asthmatix in a sentence is… Hip-hop beats joined by Klezmer violin, sprinkled with deep bass-lines and ancient Jewish melodies.

First memory of music… My grandfather playing Mozart on the violin.

First album you bought… Caravan – The Rosenberg Trio (Gypsy-Swing) and Dino the Dinosaur.

Song that gives you goosebumps… Yedid Nefesh and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, first movement.

Fave driving album/s… Anything by Django Reinhardt, Fanfare Ciocarlia or Charlie Parker.

An Asthmatix highlight… The launch of our single ‘Latke’ last December was quite special. We released the single in time for Chanukah – the Jewish Festival of Lights, which we celebrated with live oil painting and yummy homemade potato latkes for all who attended.

If you could pick a supergroup its members would be… Mickey Morphingaz, Asparagus Mylnsky and Free-Key Plinewood (a.k.a. Micha Walter, Yossi Mylnsky, Daniel Pliner) – basically The Asthmatix.

Sydney bands giving you the good tingles at the moment… Hermitude, The Cope Street Parade, Zohar’s Nigun and Dereb The Ambassador.

Fave Sydney venue… Camelot, GoodGod, Oporto.

Band or genre that gives you an ice-cream headache… Anything above the pitch of B5.

If you bowed to corporate sponsorship it would be to advertise… Whiskey, but we would work with any brand of spirits if the price was right. Please call us!

Your dream bill for a night (Asthmatix included of course)… Beastie Boys, Bill Cosby, The Gucci Crew and David Brook.

An unknown Asthmatix fact… Only two of the members are actually asthmatic, however, the other two members have used asthma as an excuse on more than one occasion to get out of sports class.

What next for The Asthmatix… Once this EP is released, we’re going to start working on our album. Hopefully there will be a handful of high profile performances, some gigs in New York and the opportunity to continue making the very unique hybrid of music we’re creating.

To find out more about Asthmatix visit To listen to their debut EP visit