Posts Tagged ‘Ali Sethi’

These aren’t songs/albums which were necessarily released this year. These are songs/albums which I came across in 2017. There is no order, there is no ranking. I Just keep begging and turning to people I barely know to suggest me a song, even if it’s in a trailer or a song featured  on a TV show.  Because – me and missy is so very busy busy makin money!

There are also two long-ish albums/sessions embedded in the playlist which I am sure you will like.

And then there is my favourite dinchak list. Oh yes, it starts with  bit of love for selfie star and his team – a good song for running. Then we have some film and non-film songs. I am sorry about a certain song in the playlist but (Gujrati accent) ‘sorry, this had to be done, in all its auto-tune-ness, kasam odi ki. There’s also a song that has a line ‘Meri mummy nu pasand nai tu’ – what fun! We also got tesher on the track. Here we go, or (like I have learnt) – Yalla!

Orange Is The New Black – So there is some show like this but I don’t watch any TV, not on twitter these days, so I don’t know about most shows. One of the colleagues from work suggested a song and I liked it a lot. I like it so much that I forgot it exists. I think you know what I am talking about. Have at it, first song on the playlist. Also, I should start watching TV.

Krishna Das – From the album ‘One Track Heart – The Story Of Krishna Das’. The song is titled ‘Krishna Das Was Crying’ and it is not available on youtube. You can buy this fabulous album here  https://itunes.apple.com/in/album/one-track-heart-story-krishna-das-original-motion-picture/664306217 – The pain, longing and the merging of harmonium, sarangi and electronic guitar would leave you in the state of shunya. I have played this at home on repeat and slept because I wanted to wake up with this song in the background. I have left the song playing at home while I went out because I wanted to come home to the song, you get the picture.

The Tamashbeens – was doing rounds with some lovely Pakistani friends I have made here in Dubai. I love the mild ‘Amit-trivedi-in-his-early-days’ vibe the song has along with excellent wordplay…usmeinn log kyu hain haraaami? Featured here, is Duniya, the song. Also, what a kickass name for a group, isn’t it?

The Manta Ensemble  – Do explore this lovely band that explains itself as The Manta Sidhu Ensemble is a collaboration between some exquisite musicians, who have come together to play songs written by Manta, a Delhi based singer and songwriter. Versatile musical elements merging in a carefree environment, yet standing vulnerable in all their rawness – the music is for those with a taste for the easy-listening experience”. Apart from making my job easier by giving such a splendid intro, they also make some wonderful music. We have featured ‘Wild Flower’ here. (teach me how to sway when things don’t go my way….tu ru tu tu ru ru..)  

Ali Sethi – Well this one is pretty easy. Like I have always maintained, Ali Sethi should sing all the old classics in his style. The way he re-imagined and presented chann kithan* (delicate and hopeless in all his Sethi-ness), it’s pretty much ensured the playlist to be stuck on this for months. I fail to understand why Sethi has presented this song with absolute zero treble, to put it simply. Can we get a better audio quality of this Dear iTunes/Patari? I will pay in dollars, I am not kidding. A fabulous song!  On a related note, you would always find someone go ‘Oh, I have just started exploring Ali Sethi’, when you do, just hug them.

Fanoos – aaaaaaaae ha! What a brilliant way for a music streaming to create a niche without being ducks about holding you hostage just because you have a device made by them. With ‘Fanoos’, Patari.pk gave Zohaib Kazi a free run to explore and manipulate the sounds he collects. (Correction  – Zohaib confirms his project Fanoos was joined by Patari and not the other way round). We featured Zohaib here when we spoke of his brilliant album ‘Ismail ka urdu sheher’ (which you must explore if not already) and although the track Gulmit anthem remains my favourite, the other songs under Fanoos were brilliant as well. Here’s hoping Patari doesn’t stop. Chumma aapko, Patari waalon. Yes, it isn’t available on youtube legally. Head to Patari.pk immediately and ask yourself  what are you doing if you don’t visit Patari everyday. 

Rabab circles – The track we have featured here is called Makhaam/Nightfall. When they write a kickass description in their songs like ‘plug in your headphones and turn up the volume’, they truly make it worth your while. Listening to this beautiful track, I couldn’t help but picture little kids jumping up and down the stairs, not a care in the world. Here’s looking at you Circles.

A1melodymaster’s – Rashke Qamar – In some ways, the badly recreated track of Baadshaho is to be credited for this discovery. Yet again, something a dear Pakistani colleague shared with me in office. While the original track remains a favorite, if you are not in a qawwali mood, play this one and feel your senses dance.  The name is Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Parvaaz  – When you are done ogling at the brilliantly shot video, do hear the song Colour White, which is quite good, especially the way the guitar merges with the singing towards the end, and tilts your senses towards the sound. I have been meaning to explore Parvaaz since sometime, thanks to @BhopaliLad, and am glad this year I could do so. Am sure this is a pretty old discovery for most readers of the blog but to those three people who didn’t know earlier – rush to their work, I implore you! 

Bombay Dreams – Confession – I made all my good friends buy this rather expensive cassette back in 2002 when this came out. I still have it. I still have it (said it twice because I have 2 units cassettes of the album).  I still love it, especially Bombay awakens sung by Dalip Tahil. I couldn’t find it on youtube, so allow me to share the song that I used to play in Hyderabad while thinking about Lucknow. Why am I mentioning this now? It is because I am loving this album again now. They have changed lyrics (And A.R. Rahman is absent on the microphone), but they have retained 2 of my favorite parts. One of them is –  The journey home, is never too long…you heart arrives before the train.  

Shruti Naik & Ashar Kazi – This stunning discovery keeps me going on the treadmill for the sheer passion of the duo. Featured here is their cover of Tamacun. There is a bit of Pulp Fiction nostalgia on their channel as well, head to it. I hope we hear more, much more from them! 

Jasleen Kaur Monga – Check her channel and do find her on oklisten.com as well. Such a clean rendition and what a voice! I hope to hear more, much much more from her. It is so comforting to hear someone do classical right, in the present age of cacophony, hashtags, filters and general bullshit. Featured here is her soothing ‘Saawan aaya re sakhi’ 

Rubab InstrumentalBya ke borem ba mazar featuring Gulab Khel on Rabab and Murad on tabla – This was a pure coincidence. I was asked to follow this channel by one of the many good souls in Youtube comment section. This is so soothing I had to include it here for you to explore, if you haven’t already.

Jeno w noto0 to 100, Quickly habibi!, I saw this song do some pretty amazing thing to suit-boot waale log (with prim and proper accents) on dancefloor. This is a riot (available for 15 bucks on iTunes!). Do hear it. If curious, you should read more about the dance form here  (only a matter of time I reckon that someone back home gets ‘inspired’ by this hook)

Abdul Kader – featuring – Rachid Taha, Faudel and (fukin) Khaled! –  If you are 90s kid, you will remember Khaled. Remember we putting our own words in this song and sing along loudest at the ‘Didi’ moment? Now, Faudel is responsible for inspiring a certain Indra Kumar film song but don’t hold it against him please. An algerian teddy bear and I connected a lot because I love this song. The energy, the vibe and the feels it gives you is just magical. Have a listen and put a ‘dekho’ to the song and soak the atmosphere of the concert, the days of no autotunes or prerecorded playback.

Tan Cani – by Alhoverah. So I have been keeping this song with me since two years or so. Yes, I do that, I don’t like sharing music normally. Cut to – A Spanish matador who reminded me of this song (when we were talking about music and I begged for him to tell me a song that he absolutely loves). I took it as a sign and here it is for those who haven’t heard it. There are hajaar versions of the song, I am sharing the one he shared with me, the one that I took as ‘ the sign’.

Other songs which I liked and played are embedded towards the end of the playlist, still let me mention them here –

Lost – Angad Katari

Udaan – Aditya Virmani

Bol ke lab – Harpreet – A version I felt that is better than what Shafqat Amanat Ali could come up on his Coke Studio outing for this season.

Long play

Mahogany SessionsConfessionI came across this movement earlier this year but I haven’t checked out other sessions because I am stuck on solid ground and this session as a whole. I hope you like it and if you are rolling your eyes because you already knew this then why o why did you not share it with us? 🙂 (Great music, as often as possible…isn’t this a delightful pledge?)

Solo and Indre – This came to me via a good friend. The link contains the entire album, which I must admit, works superbly in morning and afternoons if you are lazing around or driving with no particular destination in mind. I loved it, hope you do too. (From the channel – Senegalese kora player, Solo Cissokho, and Lithuanian kanklės player, Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė, met each other for their first duo recording. This is the first time these two instruments have been recorded together)

Daira’s Vipreet buddhi (The entire album is brilliant! I reviewed it on BBC and you can head to my blog for the link of the same. Google and read the track names for some fun!

Because the post is already too long, I purposely didn’t mention popular movements like Coke Studio Pakistan. You can listen to our picks of 2017 Cokestudio Pakistan here

* Some of us found couldn’t find the correct translation of this on the internet. So we tried to do it ourselves. You can read it here and thank the people directly on social media platforms who made it possible.

And here is the dinchak list. Yep. NSFW – the first song.

To quote Insomniac city again (am sorry!) – ‘I remember how Wendy once told me she loved New York so much she couldn’t bear the thought of it going on without her’ – > I feel the same about all the good music, good books, articles which I will never be able to explore. What I am saying is – Suggest me a song! We always underestimate what we have, so don’t think twice before putting it out. I am sure I haven’t heard *that* song which you are thinking about right now, may be you discovered it/them this year or may be before. Share and have a happy new year!

– Rohit

(P.S. – If you like to stay happy, fit and/or run like wind (With or without flaunting it on twitter, in your office, on your linkedin or on music related blogposts), why haven’t you explored Shivani Bhagwan’s youtube channel yet? No other dance channel comes close. No other happy channel comes close. Beautiful people doing bhangra with beautiful people cheering…what’s not to like)

There was a lot of buzz this year about Coke Studio 10, much before even the first teaser came out, and till then that was my only grouse. I will save my angry rants about the season as a whole here, and leave you with our favourite picks from 28 songs that were aired this season in 7 episodes. Click on the playlist embedded below to play the songs as you read the post.

You can read our Coke Studio Season 8 round up here and  Season 9 roundup here.

Ranjish hi sahi – Ali Sethi should sing all the old classics that we have come to love and live with. Even though this rendition was hurried at some places for ghazal purists, the velvet-ness of Ali’s vocals rubbed on the listener and reminded us of well paced out ghazals where lyrics and not hashtags were celebrated. That Ali Sethi is probably the best contemporary singer from across the border these days isn’t ‘overdoing’ it. It’s just a fact. Jaffer Zaidi is probably the only musician who is keeping Coke Studio Pakistan’s legacy of good music with subtle presentation and production alive post-season 6.

Cha rahi kali ghata – A beautiful song composed by Sahir Ali Bagga that gave us a flavour of old times when a raga based song would be melodiously rattled by a contemporary tune in between and touch our hearts. Hina Nasrullah and Amanat Ali were top class, and the moment that took my  breath away was at 4:04 mins when Amanat got into the skin of ghazal gayaki…what a beautiful beautiful song! Thanks to good people in Youtube comment section, I have come across some real good work by Hina Nasrullah. Do google her.

Faasle – A simple heartbreaking duet that played within its zone and didn’t let too many instruments get in the way of expressing hurt. Kaavish and Quratulain Balouch gave us too many reasons to play this on repeat. Jaffer Zaidi has a voice that is a balm on the senses and when he wished well to his beloved with devastatingly helpless yet beautiful words (penned by him incidentally), it was a delight. Quratulain Balouch, who finally got  a lot of real estate this season to display her brilliance, was equally melancholic and melodious. Easily, the most underrated and under appreciated song of this season. Watch how they ended this song…jaa haha hu main…jaa rahi hu main...c’est magnifique!

Tinak din na – I am penning this post on 22 September and I still cannot understand what did Waqar ehsin  bring to the song. Ali Hamza got the solid anchor role whereas Ali Sethi glided the way only he can. Waqar was more a spanner in the works than anything else. Perhaps Ali Noor would have been a better choice. Watch Waqar lose the sense of tune at  4:11 in the song. Still, the sheer energy of Ali Hamza and Ali Sethi is enough to hear this song on repeat. I have never disliked them but there was absolutely no need for the backup vocals in the song as well. A good song that is good in spite of the back up vocals, pointless detours in the composition in between and Waqar.

Laal Meri pat A song that took me back to Rohail Hyatt days barely a second in the song. Akbar Ali (with his alaaps to die for) and the voice of God Arieb Azhar introduced the song. Quratulain Balouch’s voice provided the perfect rooting to the song. This is what old Coke Studio Pakistan fanatics would call psychedelic-meets-traditional, a brilliant brilliant song. I love the way Strings structured the song with terrific humnavas. Leaving the predictable, famous hook of the song and creating a new high point is a job that is too difficult and risky when you are tackling a generation defining song. They got it right, alright!

Naina moray –  Years ago, I came across this timeless composition for the first time in the voice of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali khan sahab. Akbar ali is the discovery of the season for me and unsurprisingly here as well he shapes the entire song around his powerful gayaki. Yes, there is a terrific Zaki with axe in the song as well. I am somehow getting a bit tired of excessive murki filled gayaki of Javed Bashir though. It kills the mood and creates unnecessary intensity in song that don’t need it. Still, a powerful song.

Ghoom taanaSalman ahmed along with kick-ass Irteassh and talented Momina re-created the magic of this song and it sounded pretty good. Unlike the horrible Sayonee this season, Salman got the singer selection right this time round and apart from the ‘rattle and creaking’ production sound that is signature Strings, the song stood tall and made a smashing statement of hope. We could do with hope in these times.

Katay na katay – Ali Hamza gave us this cracker of the song with loads of help from Aima Baig, Rachel Viccaji and Humera arshad. I loved the energy and the melody this fusion oozed. Let’s try and think one Indian song we heard in unplugged, Coke Studio@MTV, blah-blu studios etc that comes close to the experiment of  3 super talented girls bringing the house down like this? Lastly, the tarana by Ali Hamza towards the end…stunning!

Tera naam – There is a saying in Pakistan music circle that loosely goes like – ‘Whatever you think is possible in music, Sajjad ali has already sung it’. With this song, Sajjad quietly re-affirms that position. In Coke Studio itself, barring few songs which I haven’t mentioned here, we have seen Sajjad ali give us a magnificent rang lagaa soulful Tum naraaz hoa tongue in cheek kir kir kiran insanely enjoyable suth  gana and all that was remaining was a beautiful love song…and here it is! The tune, the presentation, the sound and those lovely humnavas, everything just perfect.

That’s it for season 10 of Coke Studio Pakistan. If you want to read episode by episode review, you can click the link on the contributor’s name below. Do share with us your favourites.

– Rohit

the-reluctant-fundamentalist-posterThe latest offering by Mira Nair features various artists and the album has as many as 14 tracks.

The album starts with Kangna, a traditional qawaali performed wonderfully by Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad. The accentuated bass towards the end remind us that this is for a Film and not performed for anything else. Although the duo have sung this song for Coke Studio Pakistan as well where the duration was in excess of 10 mins, this one ends in less than 6 minutes, melodious nonetheless.

Bijli aaye ya na aaye features the otherwise serious Meesha Shafi. Severely let down on the lyrics the song survives because of the lovely throw that Meesha demonstrates. Peppy. The lyrics are so bad that they actually redefine the word ‘random’. However, this for sure will be closely walking with the narrative, of which I am sure.

Kaindey ney sung by Zahara Khan is up next. Performed with just a guitar and Sarod by the side for most part, Zahara appears slightly out of sync at times in this average song.

Ali Sethi hums Dil jalaney ki baat kartey ho extremely well and leaves you wanting for more because the track is barely 2 mins long.

Atif Aslam croons Mori araj suno and even though he tries very hard, thanks to the varied versions of this ageless composition that we have come across, this track falls short. But it does sound very theatrical.

Measure of me by Amy Ray is the best song of the album. Slow, melancholic and very high on melody. The arrangement is so simple that you might even ignore it. The backup vocal arrangement is brilliant as well.

A young man has to take a stand performed by Michael Andrews is a track filled with a lot of tension thanks to the eerie arrangement and loads of violins used. Ends quickly echoing the tension in the head.

Jannissary again performed by Michael is a slow piano piece with continuous violins. Somehow reminded me of 1947 The earth, this piece. Nicely done.

Something happened – Bass and a lot of bass instills anticipation in what appears to be an anxious track. A track that is very rich on sounds. Faintly heard someone sharpening knife, someone running through a door and then it all descends to a pause. One of the best instrumental pieces in a long time. Highly recommended.

God bless America A very short track comprising of crowds cheering and a continuous beat that eventually fades out far too quickly.

Love in Urdu by Rizzle kicks is a delicately arranged all instrumental piece peppered with subtle Sarod and guitar. Not as beautiful as love in Urdu would be but a soothing and simple track.

Focus on fundamentals paints a picture of tension, yet again. Aided in just right measure with violins and a dying bass line throughout. Eerie. Tensed. Dark.

Get us both killed has got a very dark tone throughout. The riffs remind you of a particular O.S.T. Which shall not be named here. :) the tempo steadily rises but never peaks and that’s quite eerie.

Too much blood has poured into this river With near absent vocals, this track keeps the dark undertone of the album alive. Aided by flute, the overall grave atmosphere gets a touch of sadness. The almost silent alaap is a touch of class in this track.

With Mira Nair, we are sure that the music will be totally circumstantial and compliment the feel of the film. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is no different. Will I hear it as much as the O.S.T. Of ‘The Namesake’? Well, No. The reason is simple. This O.S.T. stays so closely hugged to the film’s feel that you slip into sadness with some of the tracks of this film.

2 Thumbs up! If you are an O.S.T. Collector, do not miss this at any cost!

@Rohwit

(Ed note : For more music reviews by Rohwit, you can check his blog here)