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Listen: Land of Kush – “The Pit (edit)”

By ; August 6, 2013 at 10:20 PM 

Land of Kush

A devourer of various sounds and cultural rhythms, Sam Shalabi thinks of Egypt fondly — specifically the city of Cairo.  For his latest collection of musical experiments, he has crafted an ode to the city where he spent a good deal of time in 2011.  Describing his upcoming record, The Big Mango (due out on October 1st via Constellation Records), as being framed by “the beautiful, surreal madness of the city…as joyous, horrific, historical events were unfolding.”  The musical filaments that would eventually form the basis of The Big Mango were constructed during Egypt’s “Arab Spring.” And the atmosphere of that volatile time comes through in the sudden shifts of mood and composition that lay scattered across the album.

Shalabi called upon various female singers to front the centerpiece tracks on The Big Mango, and on lead single, “The Pit,” singer Ariel Engle (AroarA) sends her ethereal vocals soaring across strands of middle eastern percussion, psych rock theatrics, and experimental folk harmonies.  Never pausing to rest — it’d be a crime to break the momentum that the song manages to establish — “The Pit” is all segmented rhythms and genre-busting melodies.  And while the track’s rhythmic sprawl pours out in endless waves from the speakers, there is never a sense of wasted opportunity or meandering creative inspiration.  Shalabi knows exactly what he’s doing, and it’s a pleasure to hear him work.  Listen to an edit of “The Pit” below.

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