Originally slated for release as the flip side of a split cd/lp with godspeed you black emperor! entitled Aural Florida, this release just kept growing and growing. Now finally finished and ready to go, the Shalabi Effect present their debut with a staggering 131 minute psychedelic blow out!
On this debut double CD somewhere in the vicinity of forty instruments have made their way onto the recordings. It is very difficult to describe Shalabi Effect, because the sound is varied and changing so frequently, but we can definitely trace influences of AMM, Organum, and Pink Floyd, and psychedelic music. In terms of Psych, we are talking about the brand perfected by the likes of Acid Mothers Temple, No Neck Blues Band and Ghost, as well as more pioneering projects such as Amon Duul, Popul Vuh and the Taj Mahal Travellers.
Anthony Seck, Sam Shalabi, Alexandre St-Onge and Will Eizlini are joined by various guests, including members of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Strawberry, filling in on violin, vocals, Tibetan bowls and sax. Together they blend middle eastern influenced folk with spacey electronics and really beautiful trippy guitars. The overall experience is incredible; sounds and styles change drastically and seamlessly, bringing you to a new place with each new movement. Shalabi Effect went all out, spending nearly a month in the studio recordings and mastering on 1/2 tape to capture the warmth of the music. We thought they were kidding when they said they were setting out to create the ultimate drug record. Now we know that they were serious. The first of the two discs opens up with a beautiful display of early electronic drones, Muslimgauze styled tablas, Oud, guitar, scraped metal and bowed instruments. The sound is so incredibly rich and organic, you could swear this was recorded somewhere beautiful outdoors.
Aside from the Shalabi Effect, Sam Shalabi either anchors or at least plays in the following projects: a trio with David Kristian and Alexandre St-Onge, and more… Shalabi’s free jazz duo Detention performed at this years Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville and he immediately returned to Montreal the following day to perform with Kevin Drumm and Pillow, as member of Molasses. Anthony is the other driving force in the project and is a film maker and video producer.
Shalabi Effect are one of the most important projects in the Montreal underground for the sole reason that it is Sam Shalabi’s main project. During the last few years Alien8 Recordings have been setting up challenging evenings of live music at a loft space run by GYBE!, the Hotel 2 Tango, as well as at other spaces. During that time only David Kristian comes close to having played in as many live scenarios as Sam Shalabi. We have had Shalabi Effect perform with the likes of Aube, Kevin Drumm, Pillow, Fly Pan Am, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Government Alpha, David Kristian, Sabir Mateen, Loren Mazzacane Connors, M.S.B.R., No Neck Blues Band, Pillow, Royal Trux and Martin Tétreault. Occasionally Shalabi will even book his own shows, including gigs with Tim Berne and Brandon Labelle. We are very happy to finally be able to share the music of the Shalabi Effect with people outside of the Montreal underground.