The Shalabi Effect, whose namesake is derived from Sam Shalabi, guitar virtuoso who has been known to perform occaisonally with Godspeed you black emperor!, is some of the most adventerous, spirtually pursuant, experimental, and multi-cultural music I've heard. Their first, self-titled release is a 2-disc set of incredible space jam, sitar and tabla, guitar, string instruments, and carnal rapture. The Trial of St.Orange is a more concise story, one that builds from song to song, each moment arousing further the penetration of archetypal images from the unconscious, wheras by the climax of the album the connection of their improvised cacophony is translated into actual, real dripping meaning. It is instrumental music that communicates exactly the essence of what it is to be in an empathic ecstasy.

The atmosphere is dense with exotic bird sounds, slowly being manipulated, juxtaposed with chimes and a chaotic, organic sounds reminscent of Alain Goraguer's Fantastic Planet soundtrack. Woodblocks are fed into delay transformers, old meeting new. Sundog Ash leads into Saint Orange with a cold boom. Wining Indian instruments scuffle with the continual clicking of the echoes, meanwhile as able fingers tremble a tempest on hand drums, electronics slowly filling the air with technological blips & cracks. Somehow the grinding, the paper crinkling (all the elements) are in a sick sync, a gestalt found where chaos meets order. Distorted voices, conversations from beyond some static coming in to the music like standing in a heavily fanned bathroom, the sound of needles prickling. It all continues, and the conclusion of Saint Orange screams!

Mr. Titz (The Revalator) begins with a bass wiggling down low, electronic. And strings, tablas everything running in a forward direction. Running music. Biological imperative. Must stay alive. The feeling of a rat fleeing from a nasty predator, the adrenaline rises up. Slowly electronic beats and bombs infiltrate the low range, the adventure is just beginning.

And throughout the next songs things just continue to get more and more intense. Girls singing, sitars screaming, the sound of millions of Kodama, cheering the explorer on--and again release. Direct communication, satisfaction, and ending with the beautiful guitar-driven instrumental. A Glow in the Dark the Shalabi Effect leaves the listener, alive with love and mind still intact.

  1. Sundog Ash
  2. Saint Orange
  3. Mr. Titz (The Revelator)
  4. One Last Glare
  5. Sister Sleep
  6. Uma
  7. A Glow in the Dark

Musicians: Sam Shalabi, Anthony Seck, Alexandre St-Orange, Will Eizlini, and Bryan Highbloom on Tibetan bowl.

Release Date: February 2002, Alien8 Records

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