Acid Arab’s at first sounds very little like what you’d expect it to if you knew where the project’s members come from – France. Their highly energetic club sound however draws its cues from Arabic styles, just like the name suggests. Dabke meets free-wheeling 303 lines. With their compilations and their own releases as Acid Arab, Guido Minisky, Hervé Carvalho, Pierrot Casanova and Nicolas Borne have also attracted criticism. For Western musicians taking their inspiration from oriental music, there is a thin line between appreciation and cultural appropriation.
Seemingly out of spite, the collective has named their third album, which is their first for Crammed Discs, »Musique de France«. Most probably not to hint at the country’s colonial history but rather to underline its diversity today. An approach which is mirrored on »Musique de France«’s impressive guest list featuring Kenzi Bourras, Rizan Said, Cem Yildiz, A-WA, Rachid Tacha, Sofiane Saidi and Jouad El Garrouge who contributed freely from their own cultural background to the recording sessions at Acid Arab’s Paris-based studio. You needn’t call it a fusion record, however Acid Arab did list at least four fusion records among their 10 all time favs.
1 – »My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts« by Brian Eno & David Byrne, Sire, 1981
Find it at hhv.de on 2LP
Amazing fusion record #1. Samples from ‘Music in the world of Islam’ and Samira Tewfik, crazy beautiful music.
2 – »Noir et Blanc« by Zazou Bikaye and Cy1, Crammed Discs, 1983
Amazing fusion record #2, from an african point of view. Featuring a french guy, a singer from Congo, an artist born in Algeria, and synths.
3 – »Abu Ali« by Ziad Rahbani, Music Gallery, 2014
Find it at hhv.de on 12inch
Amazing fusion record #3: Fairuz’ son experiments a translation of lebanese music into jazz-funk.
4 – »Sankirna« by Oriental Wind & Karnataka College Of Percussion , Sonet, 1985
Amazing fusion record #4, where a turkish jazz band and an indian folkloric group meets for the best.
5 – »Leh Jani« by Omar Souleyman , Sham Palace 2011
Find it at hhv.de on 2LP
First time we ever heard of him was on this double LP which still remains as his best release to this day.
6 – »Dabke: Sounds Of The Syrian Houran«, Background, 2000
And then we discovered that Souleyman was only one amongst many fantastic musicians in Syria.
7 – »Sattalla« by Arik Rudich, Hed-Arzi, 1981
With its old electronic sounds and influences from Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis or Queen, this Israeli 70s album is a must.
8 – »Khalnayak (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)« by Laxmikant – Pyarelal, Whaam! Angel Records, 1966
Every record from Bollywood is great. This 90s soundtrack features the song by Alka Yagnik that we’ve played maybe a hundred times.
9 – »El Buya« by Aisha Kandisha’s Jarring Effects, Barraka El Farnatshi, 1990
Maximum respect to the Basel based label Barraka El Farnatshi, and its artists (Amïra Saqati, Sapho, Bill Laswell…).
10 – »Acid Arab Collections«, Acid Arab, 2013
This is not an album but a collection of tracks from I:Cube, Crackboy, Pilooski, Etienne Jaumet, Gilb’r, Renart…