Song of the Day: Acid Arab - Gul l'Abi (feat. A-WA)

Song of the Day
12/05/2016
Andrew Hackett

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription.  This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear.  Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is "Acid Arab" by Gul l’Abi (and featuring A-WA), from the 2016 album Musique de France on Crammed Discs.

Acid Arab - Gul l'Abi (mp3)Acid Arab combine electronic beats with North African and Middle Eastern melody and repetition.  It’s an exciting mix that could sound like some popularized version of world music for yuppies, but it’s actually varied and thrilling throughout Musique de France.  The two Parisian DJ’s collabarate with musicians from many countries and this contributes to the lively, surprising genre-mixing throughout their work.  This record will keep you energized and alert.

With “Gul l’Abi”, they utilize the talents of Yemenite vocalists A-WA who repeats rousing chants that interplay well with the programmed beats.  It’s work like this that reminds the listener of the possibilities inherent to electronic music in its engagement with diverse genres and music theory.  Dance music has seemed to be more flexible in its embracing of radically different melodic structures across cultures than rock, or even hip-hop, have been able to do. It's a reminder of two of the most universal of human experiences across all cultures and time: to sing and to dance.

Check out “Gul l’Abi” and then give the rest of their debut album a chance.  Acid Arab should get you moving.  You can listen to more of their work with their eclectic 2016 record, Musique de France, on Crammed Discs. Check out a video for another track from that release below:

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