back to
Constellation Records
We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Against The Day

by Land of Kush

supported by
gidouille thumbnail
gidouille Against the Day is inspired by Thomas Pynchon's novel of the same name, and the tracks are named after his chapter titles. Echoing Pynchon's opening quote from Thelonious Monk "It's always night or we wouldn't need light", Shalabi writes in the liner notes "... but light is also born into a world of entropy, corruption, violence and decay and that is the place light illuminates and clarifies". Favorite track: Against The Day.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $9 USD  or more


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    2xLP is pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal in Germany, and comes in a 100% recycled paperboard jacket with full-colour silkscreened cover artwork by Jacinthe Loranger and fold-out poster insert.

    Vinyl shipping cost:
    Canada: $13.00 (+$4.00 per additional)
    Rest Of World: $30.00
    First Class Air Mail

    Includes unlimited streaming of Against The Day via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $25 USD or more 


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD comes in a custom gatefold jacket printed on 100% recycled paperboard with a printed CD dust sleeve and credits insert.

    Subscribe to Constellation and get 25% off all LPs & CDs <>
    Save big on shipping when you order multiple albums from the Constellation label discography <>

    Constellation CD shipping rates:
    Canada: $2 first item, $0.50 each additional
    International: $8 first item, $1 each additional

    Please be aware that VAT or other taxes/duties *may* be levied by your country on orders outside North America. This is random and out of our control.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Against The Day via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $14 USD or more 


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 4 Land of Kush releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Sand Enigma, The Big Mango, Monogamy, and Against The Day. , and , .

    Excludes subscriber-only releases.

    Purchasable with gift card

      $27 USD or more (25% OFF)


Iceland Spar 14:29
Bilocations 21:09


Sam Shalabi is a musician and composer who has been creating and playing music in Montréal for the better part of 20 years. Unconstrained by genre, Sam’s musical history spans rock, jazz, free music, punk, and most things in-between. A highly truncated list of his projects includes Shalabi Effect, Detention, Molasses, and Nutsak, along with several releases under his own name courtesy Alien8Recordings and Squintfucker Press.

In the last bunch of years Shalabi has been writing and arranging sprawling compositions for large ensembles, the most recurring of which is Land Of Kush, incorporating anywhere from 20 to 30-plus Montréal players and vocalists. Kush includes string, brass, woodwinds, guitar, and percussion sections, in addition to electronics and Shalabi’s oud.

Shalabi has described earlier hybrid compositional work as “protest music about Arabophobia” (Osama, 2003) after 9/11 and an attempt at modern Arabic pop (Eid, 2008) inspired by an extended stay in Cairo in 2006. Land Of Kush combines both of these impulses, to our ears, while also rallying Sam’s long obsessions with psychedelic music (viz. Shalabi Effect) and epic literary fiction.

Inspired by and named after the Thomas Pynchon’s novel Against the Day, the music is broken into five sections, named for the book’s chapters. The three primary movements are centred around solo vocalists (Jason Grimmer, Molly Sweeney, Radwan Moumneh) who composed their own lyrics for the piece. In between vocal performances, Shalabi gives the orchestra ample opportunity to strut its stuff, including solos and long instrumental passages that display Sam’s unique balance of composition and ‘expository’ or improvisational instruction.

Against The Day is a complex, intense, but accessible hour of hybrid, genre-defying music. The marriage of middle-eastern, north African and western modes and influences yields a recording that evades categorization, by one of Montréal’s most challenging and prolific musical iconoclasts.


released March 17, 2009

Gordon Allen: trumpet
Thierry Amar: acoustic bass
Steven Balogh: electric bass
Michel Bonneau: congas, percussion
Nicholas Caloia: cello
Howard Chackowicz: drums
Pat Conan: drums
Marie Davidson: voice
Xarah Dion: electronics, keyboards
Will Eizlini: percussion
Eric Fillion: drums
Rebecca Foon: cello
Dave Gossage: flutes
Jason Grimmer: voice, lyrics
Gen Heistek: viola
Norsola Johnson cello
Philippe Lauzier: alto saxophone
Elizabeth Lima: clarinet, voice
Radwan Moumneh: voice, lyrics
Anthony Seck: lap steel guitar
Jason Sharp: baritone sax
Gavin Sheehan: electric guitar
Josh Stevenson: electronics, E.M.S synth
Molly Sweeney: voice and lyrics
Nathan Ward: rocks, objects, percussion
Yahya Zitan: darbouka
Josh Zubot: violin
Osama Shalabi: oud

Recorded and mixed at Hotel2Tango by Radwan Moumneh and Efrim Menuck. Mastered at Grey Market by Harris Newman.


all rights reserved



Land of Kush Montreal, Québec

Land Of Kush is a large orchestra assembled and directed by composer and musician Sam Shalabi, one of Montreal's most unique and prolific players over the past decades. Shalabi performs constantly on electric guitar and oud, with numerous jazz and free improv ensembles, membership in a kaleidoscope of avant rock bands, and at the compositional helm of various musical assemblages large and small. ... more

contact / help

Contact Land of Kush

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Land of Kush, you may also like: