No banging techno spiced up with darbouka samples here...no standard dance music with orientalist clichés: Parisian electronic music crew Acid Arab's music is sincere and deep. It's not a collage, not an appropriation, not even a "fusion." It originates from encounters on equal terms between different worlds. Between instruments, rhythms, melodic modes, musical technologies...and people.
Formed in 2012 by Parisian DJs Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho, Acid Arab patiently honed their style by meeting with scores of artists from all over North Africa and the Middle East. Born in the transcultural cauldron that is Paris, their concept was to create a space for Arab culture in the world of contemporary electronic music. They laid down groundwork by releasing several EPs (the Collections series) on electronic music label Versatile, featuring collabs, remixes and tracks by other artists.
Moving on to create their own tracks, they became a fully-fledged musical entity by teaming up with Pierrot Casanova, Nicolas Borne and, for studio and live activities, with sensational Algerian keyboard player Kenzi Bourras. They are now about to release their first album (on Crammed Discs, an appropriate match, given the label's track record in terms of fostering musical cross-breeding).
For Musique de France, Acid Arab have worked with a number of guests. To paint a complete picture, they needed voices, and some instruments: keyboards played by Kenzi Bourras and also by stellar Syrian musician Rizan Said. There's vocals and saz playing by Istanbul's Cem Yildiz and vocals by Yemenite sister trio A-WA. And collaborations with Paris-based luminaries of Franco-Arabic music such as rocker Rachid Taha, raï fusion pioneer Sofiane Saidi, and gnawa musician/singer Jawad El Garrouge also pop up here.