Mai Dhai & Karam Abbas – Aankharli Pharookai – Episode One – Coke Studio Season 8
At its best, the energy of Mai Dhai and Karam Abbas’ duet, ‘Aankharli Pharookai’ transports you to the vast landscapes of Rajasthani deserts, where this folk tune originated. With the rippling groove of the harmonium provided expertly by Arsalan Rabbani, Mai Dhai’s prowess of high-strung vocals in Marwari language celebrates a prophecy of something good, just about to happen. The classical performance of Karam Abbas in raag Bhimpalasi merges with the folk melody setting the tune on an upward incline from the very beginning of the track. The harmonious arrangement of the Rubab solo played by Tanveer Tafu serves to be a natural climax, making an otherwise traditional folk tune into a psychedelic anthem.
BTS: Aankharli Pharookai – Episode One – Coke Studio Season 8
Nabeel Shaukat Ali – Bewajah – Episode One – Coke Studio Season 8
‘Bewajah’ hovers in the space between lovers coming together and breaking apart. It’s a narrative penned by Babar Hashmi, performed by Nabeel Shaukat Ali. The song’s story is the universal quandary of lovers trying to forget the one they loved in an age-old pain of heartbreak that romance is coupled with. As Nabeel sings in his subtle and effortless style, the overtones of Sajid Ali’s flute provide a change of tempo that alters between eastern classical melodies whilst complimenting the pop-rock atmosphere created by the guitars and the bass.
BTS: Bewajah – Episode One – Coke Studio Season 8
Mekaal Hasan Band – Sayon – Episode One – Coke Studio Season 8
On ‘Sayyon’, Mekaal Hasan Band work within the signature wonderland of jazz and classic harmonies keeping in tune with their mission to enrapture the audience. Mekaal’s fabled act sounds more distinctive than ever, accented by Sharmistha Chatterjee’s wistful voice as it reinforce the folklore of Heer as she awaits the arrival of her beloved, Ranjha. An initiation into MHB’s soundscape: the melodious flute by the backbone of the band, Pappu alongside Sajid Ali and Abid, overlaid with Omran and Imran Akhoond’s amicable skills on the guitars – capturing all their strengths within some four-minutes of emotion, and a lot of soul.
BTS: Sayon – Episode One – Coke Studio Season 8
Atif Aslam – Tajdar-e-Haram – Episode One – Coke Studio Season 8
From the first few chords, ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ establishes itself as an organic melody of a qawwali that has been forever etched in the very soul of the enthusiasts of the genre. Atif Aslam softly leads one into the familiar ambient territory, with the rhythm of the tabla by Babar Ali Khanna and the foreseeable dominance of the tempo provided by Arsalan Rabbani on the harmonium; it almost feels like one is being transcended to the divine intimacy. This ten-minute pilgrimage encapsulates instinctive love for the Prophet, creating an almost hypnotic trance that will engulf one by its sheer magnetism.
BTS: Tajdar-e-Haram – Episode One – Coke Studio Season 8