Nescafe Basement

With the likes of Honey Singh and Himesh Reshamiya being allowed to roam and produce music freely in Bollywood quite a few residents of the Indian subcontinent have had to turn to alternative sources of music. While mediocrity and auto tuning has infected the young music scene in India, Pakistan has seemingly survived better. Coke Studio, a well known series portraying the Fusion of age old talent and new age beats has been immensely popular, globally. I came across another effort from across the border. The name it self seems to be rather tongue in cheek.

The concept shuttles between live music recording and a music based reality show. A mentor by the name Xulfi travels across the colleges of the country hunting for talent. He then brings them together and they create music. The show likes to call itself a collection of underground artists. If obscurity is not a consequence of conscious actions is the person still “underground” or just good old plain unknown? ( Whatever sells). This series featuring college musicians from a country gathering fame for pop bands, is good, not as good as other content from the region but good enough. Cheesy tag lines and the overwhelming desire to be cool shines through. The music sure is cool but things like “They Mean what they Play” ??!

 The show lacks the maturity and authenticity of the various folk artists featured on Coke Studio and comprises of a bunch of young Pakistanis trying to recreate Rock music along with the original American accent. Surprisingly however they don’t fall flat on the traditional South Asian accent and manage to produce some decent music. The instrumentals are especially worthy of an audience, the vocals are sometimes a little painful. Overall an entertaining set of music videos and music which might not be original but is certainly refreshing in this world of beefy rappers and nasal singers.

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