Eid Mubarak! Where better to start with this month’s Mosiki Mixtape than ‘Eid in the 80’s’, a synthpop tune bathed in neon light that probably wears spandex and a headband while working out. DJ Barrister dials up the fun and nostalgia imagining what Eid might be like if your local molvi had a Roland Jupiter 80.
Next up: ‘Healing’ by Alif Bae, who gives us another downtempo track with a simple descending piano line. But it’s the details that are interesting here, like the chorus of vocal chops and the synth riffs that weave in between.
This one’s cheating a little bit because it was released in January, but record label Foreversouth have just uploaded the whole of their Collections Vol. 4 to SoundCloud. It’s a fantastic album of the some of the most exciting electronic artists in Karachi. ‘Frank’ from Smax is one of the standouts – a gorgeous tapestry of electronica, with lush percussion and mechanical beeps, all stitched together into a cohesive whole. Don’t miss.
Staying in Karachi with Slowspin’s latest single, ‘blessings’. Last we heard from Slowspin was our TAAZA track ‘Patience’. But while frustration was the driving emotion there, ‘blessings’ sounds transcendent, generous and oddly blissful. A strange synth floats like mist, and Slowspin’s disembodied voice blends into it. ‘There is no greater blessing than you’, she sings. And we believe it.
‘Syd’ from Saad is equally beautiful, taking a spoken vocal sample and giving it so much weight under a lush instrumental. ‘Doosri Cigarette’ from Karachi busking outfit Shikari is a sweet lo-fi ballad, with amazing vocal performances from Eva Wallace and Sufwan Subzwari. It’s an intimate affair, just them and a guitar, and it works beautifully.
Aaishay Haque’s ‘Three.’ is another another simple but intimate track with only the trusty ukulele as company, but reinforces Haque’s strengths as a songwriter. The track moves from uncertainty (‘take all you can but just leave me a piece’) to stone-faced determination (I waited, I’m done waiting in line), but along the way we get some gems too. Genuinely funny lines like ‘Excuse the mess I made in your head and on your carpet’ suggest that Haque has more than just good turns of phrase in her repertoire.
Finally, theres a 12-minute epic ‘A Red Moon Sunday’ from Dara Shikoh with violins, clarinets, drum pads, saxophones and guitars. It’s honestly a wonderfully ambitious piece of music making. The sometimes dissonant clarinet reminded me of Jonny Greenwood’s score for ‘The Master’. All in all, a beautiful jazzy track.
That’s it for this month’s mosiki mixtape. Apologies for the lateness, I went up to Skardu for Eid and it was really nice! Thanks for asking! Hope you had a good Eid too! See you next month!