If "world music" was a marketing category devised in the '80s to help sell records, it became the domain of the bourgeoisie, much like the worldbeat—which added electronic music into the mix—that followed it. That's the legacy the Parisian duo of Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho, who operate as Acid Arab, have to contend with. As DJs, they've been hosting a party of the same name, which, in combination with a revelatory trip to Tunisia, led to two compilations on Versatile Records—the label of Gilb'R, the Tunisian DJ they visited the country with.
With Musique de France, the Parisian electronic music collective Acid Arab manage a rare feat in the cross-pollination of pan-global sounds and styles: they create a new form of music resulting from a coming together of disparate cultures. This is no crate-digging exploitation or bastardization of existing forms. Rather, Musique de France melds techno elements seamlessly with those of North Africa and the Middle East.
Paris’s Les Halles in the 1e arrondissement used to house a vibrant wholesale market, which, once-upon-a-time, was regarded as the beating heart of the city. That was until it was bulldozed in 1971 to make way for a shopping mall and garden maze where drug dealers could hang out in the daytime and set up shop. Recently it’s been upgraded to a giant canopy with a multi storey shopping centre underneath, but its functional opulence is a far cry from the predominantly white working class nerve centre that it once was; Emile Zola called it le ventre de Paris or “the belly of Paris”.
Acid Arab 'Musique De France' (Crammed Discs)When we first put Acid Arab’s new album on in the Mixmag office, we all agreed about one thing: it’s completely wild. As soon as you press play, you’re greeted with ‘Buzq Blues’ and its Prodigy-esque synth rumblings before a brain-melting array of sitars come pummelling in. The Parisian duo have always drawn from worldwide influences, particularly of an Eastern flavour, with the sounds of North Africa, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey all getting a look in.