ROCK


Land of Kush

Sam Shalabi is a musician and composer who has been creating and playing music in Montréal for the better part of 20 years. Unconstrained by genre, Sam’s musical history spans rock, jazz, free music, punk, and most things in-between. A highly truncated list of his projects includes Shalabi Effect, Detention, Molasses, and Nutsak, along with several releases under his own name courtesy Alien8Recordings and Squintfucker Press.
For the past five or so years Shalabi has also been writing and arranging sprawling compositions for large ensembles, the most recurring of which is Land Of Kush, modeled on classical orchestras from late Nasser-era Egypt. Incorporating some 30 Montréal players and vocalists, Kush includes string, brass, woodwinds, guitar, and percussion sections, in addition to electronics and Shalabi’s oud.
In June of 2008, Land Of Kush debuted a new piece as part of Suoni Per Il Popolo, an annual festival that runs in Montréal throughout the month of June. In a capacity-filled Sala Rossa, with the too-large-to-fit-the-stage orchestra spilling off the stage and splayed across the front third of the venue’s floor, Land Of Kush – with Shalabi conducting and playing – delivered a euphoric performance that was widely hailed as a festival highlight.
Shalabi has described earlier hybrid compositional work as “protest music about Arabophobia” (Osama, 2003) after 9/11 and an attempt at modern Arabic pop (Eid, 2008) inspired by an extended stay in Cairo in 2006. Land Of Kush combines both of these impulses, to our ears, while also rallying Sam’s long obsessions with psychedelic music (viz. Shalabi Effect) and epic literary fiction.
Fearing that yet another ephemeral Shalabi masterpiece would be lost to all but a few esoteric live mini-disc recordings, Constellation helped Sam bring the Land Of Kush orchestra into a studio environment to document a proper recording of the work. Gathering a group of extraordinary players as large and busy as this one should be a daunting task, yet Sam did it with ease, not because he’s an organisational genius or is able to financially remunerate anyone, but because musicians genuinely want to work with him.
Inspired by and named after the Thomas Pynchon’s novel Against the Day, the music is broken into five sections, named for the book’s chapters. The three primary movements are centred around solo vocalists (Jason Grimmer, Molly Sweeney, Radwan Moumneh) who composed their own lyrics for the piece. In between vocal performances, Shalabi gives the orchestra ample opportunity to strut its stuff, including solos and long instrumental passages that display Sam’s unique balance of composition and ‘expository’ or improvisational instruction.
Against The Day is a complex, intense, but accessible hour of hybrid, genre-defying music. The marriage of middle-eastern, north African and western modes and influences yields a recording that evades categorization. Constellation is proud to be releasing this new work by one of Montréal’s most challenging and prolific musical iconoclasts.
Against The Day is available in custom packaging on both CD and double 180g LP. The CD cardstock package is a 7-colour print that includes metallic and fluorescent inks. The LP jacket is a 6-colour hand-printed silkscreen. Thanks for listening.
Constellation




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HALYCON DAYS

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SCREAMERS DEMO..

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FROM THE MUDDY BANKS OF T

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EINSATZ -BONUS TR-

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7-HOLLY CAROL CANDY &..

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SO THERE

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ALL YOU CAN EAT

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FUTURE RUINS

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RAGING WRATH.. -COLOURED-

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WEATHER DIARIES

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AVENTURE

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IDIOTEN -DIGI-

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GYRATE

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TELL ME IM BAD

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A LANTERN AND A BELL -HQ-

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NEW MUSIC.. -COLOURED-

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LIVE FROM AUSTIN TX

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FLOOR IT!!!

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ALLS WELL THAT ENDS -10-

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NEW MUSIC AND BIG POP

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LIVE IN CONCERT - THE..

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ERA EXTRANA + ERRATA ANEX

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AVENTURE -DIGI-

artist:KEBNEKAJSE
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LABOUR OF LUST

artist:LOWE, NICK
label:YEP ROC
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IDIOTEN -LTD-

artist:KEBNEKAJSE
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LIVE DOGS -UHQCD-

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TEN HIGH -EP-

artist:SHAYNE, CHRISTOPHER
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PLAY N THE.. -COLOURED-

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ZUCKERZEIT -HQ/LP+CD-

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LIVE FROM ALABAMA

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A BILLION LITTLE LIGHTS

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QUALITY STREET: A..

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ON THE OTHER.. -DIGI-

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DEJA VOODOO -REISSUE/LTD-

artist:GOV'T MULE
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release:12.02.2021
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SUMMER RAIN

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AT MY AGE

artist:LOWE, NICK
label:YEP
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KEBNEKAJSE

artist:KEBNEKAJSE
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HERE LIES THE BODY

artist:MOFFAT, AIDAN
label:ROCK ACTION
format:2 LP
cat.no.:3A8134
ean:5051083129176
release:11.05.2018
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FOOL CIRCLE -COLOURED-

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JUPITER TRIBUS -UHQCD-

artist:RED WARRIORS
label:TOKUMA
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LABOUR OF LUST

artist:LOWE, NICK
label:YEP ROC
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cat.no.:3A7829
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release:15.03.2011
country:NLD
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STAGE FRIGHT -BONUS TR-

artist:BAND
label:CAPITOL
format:2 CD
cat.no.:3A7702
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release:12.02.2021
country:NLD
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CHOMP

artist:PYLON
label:NEW WEST RECORDS, INC.
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release:06.11.2020
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STAGE FRIGHT -COLOURED-

artist:BAND
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