Sam Shalabi & Stefan Christoff

by Sam Shalabi & Stefan Christoff

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A 50:05
B 34:38


Spool’s Out: Tape Reviews By Tristan Bath
One of the biggest joys of the cassette-o-sphere remains the uniquely murky midground this place represents. In addition to any old bod with £100 in the bank to issue their techno demos on a C45, you get more established musicians readily putting out stuff not necessarily suited (or sometimes, simply not good enough) for more expensive LP or wider releases. This meet-up firmly falls into the former category, comprising as it does two long pieces by Canadian improv vets Sam Shalabi and Stefan Christoff, recorded in Montréal.

In stark contrast to Shalabi’s relatively absurdist collage works he’s focused on since relocating to Cairo, this is a gentle and considered conversation, more or less utterly disassociated from any cultural heritage at all - save perhaps a potential churchiness in Christoff’s organ playing. Over Christoff’s contemplative organ beds, Shalabi contorts rugged whooshing synth tones that variously fly around the room like bats or grind like power tools. Perhaps the most interesting sections are when Shalabi’s synths answer Christoff’s more melodic key tinkles with rhythmic bleeps. The two sidelong pieces however, are so long (50 and 35 minutes apiece) there’s little textural ground the pair leave untouched within the confines of the pensive mood they create. They stick firmly to bliss out mode, making this is a mass for organ and synth that simmers with constant ideas. But it never hits boiling point, making it one of those ambient sessions you’ll happily play and replay, picking up new fleeting moments every time. Worth noting that this tape was only produced in a small handmade edition, so bombard the label with emails until they sell you an old one, or make you a new one. -


released June 11, 2017

Sam on Sythn
Stefan on Organ

Produced by Adrian Roy Taylor
Recorded in Parc X Montreal
Art work by La Salière:


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Small Scale Music Montréal, Québec

Small Scale Music is an independently run music label interested in releasing challenging music (Free Improvisation, Noise, Free Jazz...) primarily on small runs of tapes, cd, zines and digitally.

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