What a start for Mooshymoo. The first EP to be released by the DIY label, this collection of 5 stunning tracks from Dalt Wisney, alter ego for Shehryar Hyatt, is one of the most interesting and layered additions to the Pakistani experimental scene, and remains so 9 years after its release.
The EP begins, however, with its weakest track. ‘Dingbat the Singing Cat’ is just a touch too silly, and tips over the edge into whimsy. The lurching production style overwhelms a little here, and the cartoonish vocal sample used results in a feeling of incoherence.
Thankfully, the other four track are stellar. ‘Smokey Daze Forever’ is just pure chill. The plucky strings (harp?) just waft over breezy percussion and it’s like swaying in a hammock in the sun. Occasionally, Hyatt has his fun – 80’s video game laser sounds fly through the mix (1.58), or the track screeches to a stop with alarm (0.56), but these touches never feel like experimentalism for the sake of experimentalism (although there is nothing wrong with this) but rather little surprises and accents to the song.
‘We’re Spending the Day’ is just pure fun. The swinging, jazzy sample careens along like a tornado. Hyatt uses a clipped drum sample here that comes in just a little late on the beat, and the effect is of a jumpy, lurching movement. When mixed with the swing sample, its like hearing a Duke Ellington vinyl whose needle keeps hopping. Like patching through to pirate radio, every so often this swing cuts out abruptly into, what sounds like, an old Hollywood soundtrack sample (or maybe a old Bollywood filmi tune?). It’s just great.
‘Sci-fi dot fiends’ is, for some reason, my favourite track. There’s just something about the repetitive horns marching underneath the vocal sample of a man, very seriously, explaining how to beat a game. It’s bizarre, but in the best way. I love it. Under the radar does a similar thing, but it’s not quite as charming as Sci fi dots.
This EP is such a gem of the Pakistani indie experimental music scene. Playful, fun and experimental, it’s an essential listen.
You can listen to the EP here.