Egyptian- Canadian composer and improviser Sam Shalabi began creating punk rock music in the 70’s. His work has evolved into a fusion of experimental, modern Arabic Music that incorporates traditional Arabic, shaabi, classical, free improvisation and jazz.
Sam Shalabi has appeared on over 60 albums and toured Europe, North America and North Africa. Recent projects include albums with Dwarfs Of East Agouza, a Cairo based trio with Alan Bishop and Maurice Louca -Albums with Karkhana a group featuring members from all over the middle East-and the debut album by Moose Terrific ( an electronic duo with Tamara Filyavich) and collaborations with vocalist Nadah El Shazly as well as a debut album with Oren Ambarchi, Mark Fell and Will Guthrie.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
I heard a lot of Egyptian Music as a child and then accidentally heard John Cage and Morton Subotnik and The Beatles then punk rock. that would be the first sequence of my musical education. I began my Musical ” career ” by playing in punk rock bands.
What inspired you to start making the electronic music that you are now?
What key pieces of gear/software are you using to define your sound?
Electric Guitar, oud ( Arabic Lute ) and Korg Synths.
Has your arsenal of equipment changed much since you first started?
Oud and electronics came later
Which three albums or artists would you say have influenced your sound in a big way?
Trout Mask Replica, Ahmed Adawyaa, Butthole Surfers and Ornette Coleman
Any new or upcoming artists on your radar?
Kee Avil.Brahja Waldman
What inspires you outside of music?
Books, drugs ( sometimes ), love.
What do you want to accomplish with your music?
To comfort the uncomfortable and make uncomfortable the comfortable
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or releases in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
New Land Of Kush album. New Dwarfs Of East Agouza album. New solo album