Gotan Project & Acid Arab, soul brothers

Excerpt from the encounter published by Jacques Denis in Libération:

It all starts in the cosmopolitan 10th arrondissement, on the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis side. It was there that the Gotan Project was born in 1998 and that the Acid Arab entity was formalized, about fifteen years later. DJ and producer Philippe Cohen Solal remembers that the first was almost a coincidence. “It was just an essay with Argentinian guitarist Eduardo Makaroff. Success is an accident. There was no plan, zero strategy. ” Guido Minisky, who was his neighborhood neighbor at the time, sharing the same tables (for lunch, and sometimes to mix), could take over the words of his elder to evoke the beginnings of the second, whose birth is also part of the competition of circumstance. In the summer of 2012, he and Hervé Carvalho were invited to the Pop in Djerba festival. They offer a DJ set in table tennis mode for four (with Gilb’r as their counterpart who will later host them on his Versatile label). “I brought back some oriental stuff, and Hervé, full of acid house. The next day, we said to ourselves that we had to have an evening at Chez Moune, where we lived, on this basis. ” To share the beautiful idea, exchange tips, they create a Facebook group that tracks tracks, from Morocco to Pakistan. Code name: Acid Arab, found by the graphic designer who will make the flyer for the evening! “It crystallized our desires,” insists Hervé. Just like the name of Gotan Project, which fell on a table in two minutes: Gotan refers to the verlan of Buenos Aires and a club associated with Astor Piazzolla; “Project, because there is a concept right away!” was having fun at the time Christoph H. Müller, co-founder of the project.

Very quickly, Gotan Project will establish itself as a registered trademark, a stamped model attached to all those who will produce sounds in the same direction. Likewise, Acid Arab is now a generic style, which unites both exegetes and early prophets. Both reaffirm the central place of Paris in their original mix: “Our music cannot be done outside of Paris. Hence the title of our album. This digestion of these cultures is that result “, continues Hervé Carvalho. Like Acid Arab, the Gotan Project drew on Paris’ enduring relationship with tango. And as the latter was able to seduce the Portègnes, via the most connected DJs of Buenos Aires, the Acid Arab sound found a favorable echo among the local public, at least its most trendy fringe on both sides of the Mediterranean, as evidenced by the article devoted to him by the Moroccan cultural webzine Lioumness.

The comparison does not stop there between these two “bands” welded around a pair of DJs. Cadets like elders first pressed a maxi, just to see. For Acid Arab, it will be Theme, in 2013. “What we did as a DJ, we wanted to test it on a production, see the live effect.” For Gotan Project, following the same principle, it was El Capitalismo Foráneo, in the spring of 1999. Dubbed by Gilles Peterson, guru of the Worldwide Show… who will be one of the very first to broadcast Acid Arab on the radio. In both cases, other maxis will follow before transforming the test on disc. With the same enthusiastic reception across the Channel, fifteen years later: Musique de France was album of the month by Mixmag, while the very serious monthly Wire devoted an interview to the Acid Arab phenomenon. Soon the same misunderstandings about the appropriateness of the crossover?

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