In its fourth episode this season, the "Coke Studio” house
band treated listeners to one of the most musically challenging
compositions of the season. From the brilliant combination of the
Chakwal Group and Bohemia to a larger than life rendition of Amir Khusro
by Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammad, what emerged from the fourth episode
was pure and honest music.
A stellar combo
The Chakwal Group managed to take it to the next level with their traditional song "Kandyaari”
after the sensual "Ishq Aap Bhi Awalla”. "Kandyaari” is a love song
written by Aziz Lohar, a contemporary singer from the Chakwalis who
hails from a village named Shah Khushi in Chakwal. Credit must be given
to Bohemia for lightening up the mature lyrical content of the poetry
with his rap. Towards the end, the song turns into an interesting fusion
of contrasting tragedies of love, one referring to spiritual
inclinations and the other to materialism.
Pashto music with a twist
"Tora Bahraam Khaana”
is a romantic song in which a woman is talking to her lover – Bahraam
Khan – who does not fit society’s definition of a good looking man
because of his dark complexion.
Just like "Larsha Pekhawar Ta”, this song also comprises of the traditional Tappas which
have been neatly fused together into a musically-rich piece which has
been orchestrated well by "Coke Studio” musicians. Those who were
disappointed with "Larsha Pekhwawar” should listen to this traditional
and ethnic Pashto masterpiece. Hamayoon Khan proves his vocal prowess
yet again and can be considered one of the few Pakistani musicians who
have successfully fused traditional Pashto music with contemporary
styles – not just for "Coke Studio” but in solo albums as well.
The duo that stole the limelight
Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammad are gifted musicians. Their version of "Rung”
is considered closest to the original rendition by Amir Khusro. Both
theirs and Hadiqa Kayani’s versions of the Qawali are unique in their
Khusro was inspired to write this kalaam after he met his pir
Nizamuddin Auliya. It is said that he returned home in a state of
ecstasy and told his mother that the world now seemed to be filled with
divine radiance as he had at last met the person he had been looking for
all his life.
When "Rung” was initially released, it went on to become an important
part of many different sufi orders such as Qadris and Chishtis.
Ultimately, it became common practice to close any show or gathering
with this song because of its impact on the audience.
"Coke Studio” officials say, "One reason why traditional music
continues to survive today is because of its evolution in time. By
featuring two different versions of Rung in one season, this point is
highlighted and experimentation with traditional music is encouraged;
provided the essence of the original is not sacrificed”.
With a spectacular end to its fourth episode, "Coke Studio” leaves
the audience craving for more. All in all, this episode was one the
audience will not forget.
The Twitter buzz
-Why does Atif Aslam have to wear different clothes for every song on "Coke Studio”?
-"Coke Studio” rocked again. Indian music depends on its film industry only while Pakistan’s music is a big sea
-Bohemia featuring Chakwal Group rocks "Coke Studio”
-Didn’t like it that much. Uzair Jaswal, Qawali duo and Atif aren’t
bad. But "Coke Studio” music is becoming the same day by day.
-"Coke Studio” should discontinue the series and let people remember
the first and the second season. Stop getting worse every year!
-Atif Aslam rocked in the ‘Coke Studio’… He was looking so hot, cool and dashing.”
-Why is "Coke Studio” turning out to be such a disappointment? Fareed
Ayaz and Abu Muhammad are singing the same tracks Hadiqa Kiyani sang in
the last one.
-"Heard two songs from the new ‘Coke Studio’ episode. Both of them were pretty disappointing.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2012.