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LISTEN / REVIEWS

ACID ARAB / JDID / CRAMMED DISCS

 

Since the release of their debut album Musique de France at the end of 2016, Paris-based duo Acid Arab aka Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho have played over 260 shows on four continents, in the process honing and refining their hypnotic blend of Western electronic music and Eastern sounds and vocals into something very special, a retrofuturist take on Algerian raï music.

Three years on, they’ve just released their new album Jdid, created in collaboration with Keyboard player Kenzi Bourras, a live session musician turned band member, making the duo a trio. Alongside Bourras, Jdid sees Acid Arab also collaborating with Algerian vocalists Radia Menel, Sofiane Saidi, Amel Wahby and Cheikha Hadjla, Turkish artist Cem Yildiz, Syrian keyboardist Rizan Said, Tunisian/Belgian producer Ammar 808 and Les Filles d’Illighadad from Niger.

Jdid means new in Arabic. Fittingly the album sees the group further mapping out the Eastern/Western Interzone they’ve been exploring since they began working together. Collectively, over the album’s eleven songs, they coax the ambience of desert dunes and the concrete and metal of the cities into coexisting within the warehouses of Europe and the smoky basements of Oran and Istanbul. And it all makes for one hell of a ride.

Hearing Les Filles de Illighadad’s delicate Tuareg folk music intertwine with Acid Arab’s techno pulse on ‘Soulan’ is a special treat. As is Cheikha Hadjla’s Robo-melodious chants over the acid squelch of ‘Malek Ya Zahri,’ but Jdid isn’t short on delights either, far from it. Sturdy, robust and emotionally charged, it’s songbook is more than ready for the rigours of the dancefloor.

JDID is out now on 2×12″ vinyl, CD, and digital formats through Crammed Discs (pre-order here)

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