Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pakistani Surf Rock of the Swinging '70s

I spent a good part of my Memorial Day basking in the sun and doing some light reading on the history of U.S.-Pakistani relations. Among other things, I now better understand the historical context of Pakistan: Folk and Pop Instrumentals, 1966–1976, a vinyl-only compilation released by Sublime Frequencies earlier this year, and which covers an interesting cultural period in Pakistan that was ended in 1977 by a military coup and the subsequent introduction of Sharia law.

Surf rock seems to be the dominant touchstone, but it's outfitted with sitar, hand percussion and omnipresent punchy organs that I just love, sometimes resulting in a sort of South Asian afrobeat. I discovered the album when it was playing in a Mexican restaurant, which was by no means an inappropriate setting. It could also fittingly soundtrack an oddball western.

The Aay Jays - Mirza Ki Dhun [mp3] (Forced Exposure)
Nisar Bazmi - Pyar Ki Ik Naee [mp3] (Forced Exposure)

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