Equality @ Coke Studio

Equality how? There is Saraiki folk blended into world music, Folk disco by a rock band, blend of Punjabi and Angrezi, then a Bhangra dholki from across the border and then the misfit Islamabad song which should have been in Unity or Harmony. No doubt the instrumentation here is the key to Coke Studio where not only there is harmony between the instruments but also equal space given to shine.

To my amazement, the editing and camera shots have improved dramatically so did the BTS (always uploaded before on the net) which had a raw feel to it and something more than mere interviews raising our curiosity.

The episode starts with Yaar Dhaddi and surprisingly it is rendered by Ali Zafar who carries this out with a lot of ease. The acoustic guitars and percussion gives the song a latin/spanish feel where as violins and flute combination has clear middle-eastern influence in it. I can assume Omar Rahim or Juni dancing on this number, such is the feel. It still sounds like a folk song, now this is genius. Great start to the episode.

Then comes Jo Meray which is done in Folk Disco arrangements. Sitar by Rakae Jamil makes this song really special and stands out the way it deserves. The best thing about Coke Studio no doubt is instrumentation. This is a feel good song, you enjoy it while it’s on Idiot Box but for listening purposes it is too long. Shouldn’t have crossed 3 or 3:30 mins mark and this one is like 5:30 mins.. seems like taking ages to end as this small set of lyrics keeps on repeating. Nevertheless good attempt as there is always a fast forward option. Btw I loved listening to it on Radio while enjoying was drizzling.. gave me the needed groove, maza dubala!

Next comes Atif with his Wasasta-e-Pyar Da. It has the most beautiful arrangement and Atif kills it when he starts integrating/singing/yawning MJ’s Billy Jean. MJ is dead and a week later this episode comes which boasts equality for which MJ was one of the advocates. I guess this rendition might have been a reason behind MJ’s dead. Someone tweeted that maybe this will make MJ alive again only to suicide =P I don’t know Rohail allowed this maybe because punjabi lyrics and the twisted melody are enjoyable and Atif ends it again like a crescendo, and that with his signature panache.

Josh bring Bari Barsi to Pakistan which belongs to the folk bhangra genre is enjoyed by everyone in the studio and completely rock it. The moment when you feel it’s enough they take you by surprise and starts Maar Chiddipa. I completely love this sudden amalgamation. Zeeshan Parvez has done pathetic job for this number’s visuals. I guess he couldn’t come up with exciting transitions for the beats.

The episode ends with Chal Diye when everyone is impeccable. This needs acclaim with details. It’s been a wonderful song and one of my ultimate favorite. Javed Bashir gives his maestro classical rendition in the start, Zeb takes it off from there with her smooth and classical vocals with piano only in the background and the instruments follow after the mukhda phase. This song make you feel the love with which Haniya has written it. The melody invokes imagination like anything, I can have a storyboard in my head and can make a music video out of it.

I still can define the complete feeling with which this song haunts you, maybe because of the slight echo effect and undoubtedly due to the awe-inspiring lyrics. The fusion between Zeb&Haniya and JB is par excellence. The backing vocals creates a breezy effect at least for me. I must say Natasha and Saba knows their stuff really well. Drums and Matkas are subtle but you can’t deny their presence. When the song ends with a jugalbandi alaap of both the singers, you are completely in peace.

PS: People have kind of put comments against Saba smiling to everyone at FB CS page but what’s bad with smiling, I find it pretty attractive 😉


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. naveed ahmad
    Jul 25, 2009 @ 12:33:09

    i cant stand to Ali Zafar’s part 😐

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