Shalabi Effect Unfortunately

Montreal’s Shalabi Effect — a group who exist around experimental guitar wizard Sam Shalabi — have been through many changes throughout their nine-year tenure. From the molasses-slow drone excursions of their immensely layered debut, to the middle-eastern-tinged instant classic of freak-out The Trial of St. Orange, to the warped pop experiments that filled their inconsistent third album, Pink Abyss, it would seem Shalabi Effect are out to do it all. Unfortunately finds the group (rounded out on this effort by Anthony Seck, Alexandre St-Onge and Will Eizlini) getting back on the highly experimental track. Captured live by Radwan Moumneh (ex-Cursed) during the 2005 Montreal Arts Interculturelles festival, Unfortunately splices together some very far-out moments from their lengthy live improvisations. It’s a very freaked-out album, masterfully mixed to provide an exceptionally strange experience for the listener, jumping from mysterious drone-outs ("Out of the Closet”) to Kraut-rocking jams ("Pai Nai”) to atmospheric oddity ("Monobrow”) and back again. Anyone concerned that Shalabi Effect might’ve lost the plot with Pink Abyss will be overjoyed to discover that they never really put down their epic story at all; they just took time out from their ongoing soliloquy of sonic reduction for a poppy aside. (Alien8)