Composer, guitarist, and oud player Sam Shalabi splits his time between Cairo and Montreal, and the latter locale is the foundation for the personnel of his extraordinary 24-piece ensemble, Land of Kush. The influence of the former, however, is woven throughout the group’s category-defying music on the Constellation Records-released opus, Sand Enigma. Throughout the work, Shalabi deftly, radically blends acoustic, electroacoustic, wordless-vocal, and song material, featuring a gamut of exceptional improvising vocalists and instrumentalists, forging his signature voice in contemporary creative music. A radical vision by one of Canada’s true originals.
Photo by Thomas Boucher