• Soulico

A bunch of high-profile cameos festoon the U.S. debut album by the Israeli production crew Soulico—including Ghostface, Rye Rye, Lyrics Born, and Del the Funky Homosapien—but frankly, they really aren’t needed. The music on Exotic on the Speaker (JDub) traffics in club-oriented hip-hop bangers, with the Tel Aviv foursome liberally drawing upon samples of Middle Eastern sounds, you know, for that regional flavor. The various singers and MCs who have a connection to the Middle East—Balkan Beat Box front man Tomer Yosef, Oren Barzilay, and Axum, who’s performing with the group tonight in their cover-free Chicago debut at the Empty Bottle—pack the most punch, fitting in easily with Soulico’s Mediterranean party vibe.