Herve Carvalho, left, and Guido Minisky of Acid Arab. Courtesy Flavien Prioreau
Herve Carvalho, left, and Guido Minisky of Acid Arab. Courtesy Flavien Prioreau

Acid Arab Collections is a meld of many tunes



The harsh, repetitive electronic sounds of 1980s acid house and the expansive drama of traditional Middle Eastern music are not the most obvious of bedfellows. So when the Parisian DJs Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho found themselves in a Cairo club under the moniker Acid Arab, playing new tracks that melded together those sounds – blasting out gurgling synths and house beats under vocals from the Syrian star Omar Souleyman – they were nervous to say the least.

“The people in this club knew nothing about us,” recalls Minisky. “We were playing them music that maybe they had never heard before and there were a fair amount of strange looks to start with. But within five minutes, they loved it. They understood what we were trying to do. It was such a good feeling.”

Their journey to that point in a Cairo club – and their forthcoming compilation album Acid Arab Collections – is fascinating. Growing up, Minisky would listen to Radio Nova, a groundbreaking and diverse French station that would often feature Arab music in its programming. Intrigued, in 2012 he joined Carvalho and the French DJ and label owner Gilb’R on a trip to a festival in Djerba, Tunisia.

“It was there where we really fell in love with the music and culture from North Africa and the Middle East,” Minisky says. “It was like a crush. So we quickly had this idea of trying to both create and curate music that would sound like it could come from those places, but would be different from the music that perhaps they – and we as westerners – are used to.”

So Acid Arab was born, Minisky and Carvalho starting a night in Paris to play tracks that fitted with their new obsession. They began making tunes with Arab inflections, and when the Parisian producer Crackboy gave them a stunning remix of Souleyman’s Shift Al Mani at the same time as DJ Gilb’R offered them a track called Cosmique Arabe, they knew they were on to something. A four-track EP was released last May, and with interest snowballing, the 13-track Acid Arab Collections – out on February 17 – ended up featuring 11 different artists.

And despite the name, the record isn’t just 13 banging acid house tracks. Professor Genius slows the tempo down with atmospheric electronica, while the Strasbourg duo Dimmit are what Kraftwerk might have sounded like had they come from Dubai rather than Düsseldorf. Such a broad range of styles came as a shock to Minisky, too, particularly as he gave potential contributors a set of rules.

“They didn’t stick to them of course,” he says, laughing. “And that’s for the best. But the one thing we were clear about is that they couldn’t just put vaguely Arab sounds or samples over the top of western beats.

“It had to be more organic than that, a meeting point of different musical styles and cultures rather than a clash of them. We wanted it to sound real, which is why you find people like the Jordanian Shadi Khries on the record, too.”

So what is it about Arab music that has captured the imagination of so many people in the Parisian music scene? Minisky says that he’s always been fascinated by its complex rhythmic structures and notes that some forms drive dancers into a trance in the same way acid house does. But most of all it’s the evocative sound of Berber rhythms, of the oud and darbouka, which transfixed him.

“I listen to a lot of music from the North Africa and Middle East now and it’s so much richer and deeper when you investigate it properly. Our next idea is to make a compilation of traditional songs, re-edited.”

How would that go down in the Arab world? Probably quite well, if the experience of the Cairo club scene is anything to go by. Minisky would love to play in a more stable Syria too, where the underground dance scene hit the headlines last year despite the country’s problems. For now, he’s excited by the potential of Acid Arab to be a success outside Paris.

“When people in the Arab world hear us, they understand that we’re not using ‘their’ music to be quirky, but because we’ve got a real love for it. Actually, we want to be a part of their music scene. And so, absolutely, we dream about taking this music around the Middle East so people can enjoy it.”

• Acid Arab Collections (Versatile) is out tomorrow. Listen to an album teaser at www.versatilerecords.com

artslife@thenational.ae

How green is the expo nursery?

Some 400,000 shrubs and 13,000 trees in the on-site nursery

An additional 450,000 shrubs and 4,000 trees to be delivered in the months leading up to the expo

Ghaf, date palm, acacia arabica, acacia tortilis, vitex or sage, techoma and the salvadora are just some heat tolerant native plants in the nursery

Approximately 340 species of shrubs and trees selected for diverse landscape

The nursery team works exclusively with organic fertilisers and pesticides

All shrubs and trees supplied by Dubai Municipality

Most sourced from farms, nurseries across the country

Plants and trees are re-potted when they arrive at nursery to give them room to grow

Some mature trees are in open areas or planted within the expo site

Green waste is recycled as compost

Treated sewage effluent supplied by Dubai Municipality is used to meet the majority of the nursery’s irrigation needs

Construction workforce peaked at 40,000 workers

About 65,000 people have signed up to volunteer

Main themes of expo is  ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and three subthemes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability.

Expo 2020 Dubai to open in October 2020 and run for six months

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.

Premier League results

Saturday

Crystal Palace 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2

Cardiff City 2 West Ham United 0

Huddersfield Town 0 Bournemouth 2

Leicester City 3 Fulham 1

Newcastle United 3 Everton 2

Southampton 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Manchester City 3 Watford 1

Sunday

Liverpool 4 Burnley 2

Chelsea 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Arsenal 2 Manchester United 0

 

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Star Wars: Ahsoka

Director: Various
Starring: Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Lars Mikkelsen
Rating: 4/5

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

PRISCILLA

Director: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi

Rating: 3/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Friday (all kick-offs UAE time)

Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin (10.30pm)

Saturday

Freiburg v Werder Bremen (5.30pm)

Paderborn v Hoffenheim (5.30pm)

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund (5.30pm)

Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen (5.30pm)

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm)

Sunday

Schalke v Augsburg (3.30pm)

Mainz v RB Leipzig (5.30pm)

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf (8pm)

 

 

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

A Round of Applause

Director: Berkun Oya
Starring: Aslihan Gürbüz, Fatih Artman, Cihat Suvarioglu
Rating: 4/5

ALRAWABI SCHOOL FOR GIRLS

Creator: Tima Shomali

Starring: Tara Abboud, Kira Yaghnam, Tara Atalla

Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

The Al Barzakh Festival takes place on Wednesday and Thursday at 7.30pm in the Red Theatre, NYUAD, Saadiyat Island. Tickets cost Dh105 for adults from platinumlist.net