Home Read Classic Album Review: Shalabi Effect | Pink Abyss

Classic Album Review: Shalabi Effect | Pink Abyss

The Montrealers are the link between ’60s freak-flag flyers & ’00s post-grads.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Today’s post-rock is just yesterday’s psychedelia with different drugs and better equipment.

That’s not an insult — just a conclusion I reached midway through Pink Abyss, the latest mind-expanding missive from Montreal’s Shalabi Effect. This avant foursome led by guitarist Sam Shalabi come off like the missing link between the ’60s freak-flag flyers and the ’00s post-grads. From the former they borrow the introspective soundscapes, musique concrete recordings and transfixing grooves; from the latter, the glitschy textures, synthetic bleep-bloopery and electronic manipulations. Skillfully stitched together, the combination sounds a little like The Mothers jamming with Tortoise — until they fuzz the edges even further by adding downtown noir-jazz, Burt Bacharachish pop and Indian-flavoured elements to the mix. At that point, I can’t decide if it’s psychedelia, or post-rock or what. I just know the effect is nothing short of beguiling.