Home Read Classic Album Review: Shalabi Effect | The Trial of St-Orange

Classic Album Review: Shalabi Effect | The Trial of St-Orange

The Montreal duo's Middle Eastern psychedelia must be heard to be believed.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Just when I thought I’d heard every musical hybrid they could come up with, along comes another one.

Montreal outfit Shalabi Effect — formed around the duo of oud player Sam Shalabi and guitarist / keyboardist Anthony Seck — play what can only be described as experimental Middle Eastern psychedelia. We’re talking hand drums playing off buzzing strings, serpentine rhythms set against sinewy melodies, and droning trance-rock augmented with nature samples, subliminal whispers, mind-melting production and even the occasional drum ’n’ bass grooves. It is truly one of those sounds that has to heard to be believed. To get the idea, I suggest two courses of action: 1) Seek out this seven-track, hour-long disc; 2) Take eight hits of your favourite psychotropic drug and crawl under the stereo at an Egyptian restaurant.