Land of Kush’s Egyptian Light Orchestra - Monogamy (4 stars)

Land of Kush’s Egyptian Light Orchestra - Monogamy


Following the lead of US novelist Thomas Pynchon’s Against The Day, Montreal’s Sam Shalabi reconvenes his psych-Arabic jazz orchestra for this exploration of shame, sexuality and society. With horns, strings, keyboards, percussion and several female vocalists, Shalabi has created a deeply impressive album that takes in Arabic melodies and polyrhythms, abstract electronics and free jazz blowouts. The title track, with its lush melodies, hypnotic groove and shimmering Alice Coltrane-inspired coda, is perhaps the strongest realisation of Shalabi’s electic vision but the other tracks bristle with inspiration, from the momumental Arabic synth riff of ‘Fisherman’ to Elizabeth Anka Vajagic’s imperious vocals on ‘Scars’.

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