Patari has released the first single from the second instalment of their ‘Aslis’ series. Volume One featured tracks from indie favourites like Shajie, The Tamaashbeens and Sikandar Ka Mandar, and now Patari looks to carry on the tradition of spotlighting lesser heard voices in the music scene.
That brings us to the Lyari Underground Rappers. The group, previously featured on Tabeer, are back with a stripped-back, tribal sound that brings their own voices into the limelight. ‘Players of Lyari’ (with production from Dynoman) featured an infectious bassline and boisterous raps, but was let down by a particularly cloying chorus. But here, on Kasani, the percussion heavy beat allows the verses to take centre stage.
The L.U.G mostly focus on nostalgic moments from their childhoods growing up in Lyari. These are mostly rose-tinted memories, made sacred by time. They used to play with marbles, race bikes, play football, bunk off school. Standard kid stuff. But occasionally the brutality of a neighbourhood like Lyari stabs through the narrative. Rapper Anxiously says; ‘my childhood in Lyari wasn’t normal, I’ve seen killers, dead bodies, and limbs in sacks’. He then goes back to recalling memories of playing with marbles.
It’s these moments that stand out here. The plastic kalashnikovs that they played with when they were young, in innocence, become actual weapons in adulthood. An exciting, happy childhood in 1990 is described alongside addiction to hashish in 2005. We’re not told what the link is here. There are no obvious threads that lead from childhood to their current troubles. Pictures of games are held alongside pictures of ghosts. It all seems doomed to happen. This is Lyari.
The track ends with a traditional Lyari childhood rhyme: one + one is two, two + two is four, four – two is two. There’s something inevitable about it, and cyclical too.
Be sure to check out the video below.