CokeStudio Pakistan, Season 7, Episode 2


With the first episode hitting the right note for about 50% and horribly distracting screen heroics, we move to the episode 2 of the Season 7. With exciting artist line up, this one promised a lot in advance itself!

Washmallay – A traditional Baloch song that witnessed the reunion of the old gang of ‘Komal – Akhtar chanal zahiri’ along with a new member ‘Momin durrani’. My first thought was – Just 6 minutes! How can we satiate ourselves with just 6 minutes of Akhtar Chanal Zahiri? Not fair! However, this bomb of a song blew the socks off and I cannot write enough about the way Momin has performed the song. It was a sheer pleasure to hear Komal who I thought held the song very well and thank you Akhtar Chanal Zahiri for mesmerizing us with your raw energy. No, a little over 6 minute duration of the song didn’t affect me at all. A song that has got the ‘Dannah pa dannah’ hysteria back! What a thunderous start to the episode! Mwaaaaaah!

Phool Banro – I have been waiting since long (for the reasons unknown to me) to hear Humaira channa in cokestudio and boy does she make a splash! Teaming here with Abbas Ali Khan, she gives us what could very well be the song of the season. Just about everything is perfect. The flute, the setting, the subtle overalls, the singing, the presentation, EVERYTHING! It is a simple wedding melody from Rajasthan that is so beautifully done that it might make you all teary eyed. For me, the best song of the season so far. The confident Abbas added a lot of melodious brilliance to the song in a way that is hard to describe in words. His alaap towards the end reminds you of all things which are good with music.

Chehra – Zoheb hassan performed one of his songs that was released in 1984. This effort is commendable but perhaps the choice of episode to put this forward was not all that great. The song, when compared to the entire episode comes across as ordinary. What does work is the excellent music arrangement that doesn’t sound over produced and retains the 80s pop feel. That is just about it.

Charkha – Javed Bashir and some excellent back up vocal singers lend their voice to this ‘sound of nation’ version of Charkha. Of course it doesn’t quite have that raw energy that the Atif and Qayaas’ version had, but this one is no less. Mostly because Javed Bashir takes the song many notches higher. What a delight to see his harkats on ‘kudey’. The ever so amazing Tanveer Tafu presents us with such a ‘strummy’ rubaab that it is hard to take your eyes off the same.  Splendid song!

Since I have already given up and am quite sure that those distracting screen heroics come as a part and parcel of this season, I am not commenting much on the over the top display of the same, especially in Washmallay.

All and all, a top class episode 2 and I cannot wait for the entire season. Hope the good work continues


For all about CokeStudio Pakistan Season 7, check out –

P.S. – Where are the subtitles in all videos dear Cokestudio Pakistan?

CokeStudio Pakistan Season 7, Episode 1


Yes, I gave in to the temptation to write about CokeStudio pakistan, Season 7, Episode 1

First, some background.

If you have time to kill, you can check previous posts in this blog about CokeStudio pakistan. I have been blamed as being a bit ‘too pro pakistan’ when it comes to CokeStudio Pakistan. I have my reasons whenever I say that CokeStudio pakistan > CokeStudio India. Apart from offering us various experiments which married folk with contemporary, recitals, rap and what not, CokeStudio Pakistan has always been all about subtlety.

And then Season 7 happened.

Starting with Sab akho ali ali by Asrar, I was shocked at the outrageous display of clumsiness. In good olden days, we used to see a smile at best being leaked by the musicians/artists even if all they wanted was to jump on the floor and what happened here? Almost everyone (including that irritating drummer) was busy emoting as if they are rooting for the most fake excitement award at the Oscars. Coming down to the song. The guitar parts are excellent and Asrar is just top class, as usual. The thing with CokeStudio Pakistan is that it used to showcase the best song from an artist and take it a notch higher. In this case, well lets just conveniently agree that this isn’t Asrar’s best.

Then Comes Sajjad Ali with Tum Naraaz ho,  a song that is simple and easy to hum, with excellent flute throughout. Kudos for the composition and 5 thumbs down with the over the top emoting by everyone, especially the back up singers! Why am I being nosy about the visuals? In good old days, the videos used to come across slick, well rehearsed and a proof that everyone has worked on their bit to make the song what it is. The visuals, the jumpy overalls of the band at play just disrupts everything! It is not a bad song, just that it isn’t the greatest song choice to be performed at CokeStudio Pakistan stage.

Then we get up close and personal with Niazi Brothers as they give us Lai Beqadraa Nal Yaari, a superbly paced song with everything just at the right place. Somehow, the moment the song starts, you are sure that this is going to be one hell of a song. The arrangement, the flute by Sajid ali and even the over the top drummer behaved himself in the song! Yet again, what lets this song down is the atrocious display of fake excitement, अमर ब्रास बैंड lighting and the ‘low cost’ emoting displayed by the band. Seriously, what on earth is wrong with the back up singers? The back up singers did a fantastic job singing wise in this song without a doubt though.

Probably the best was saved for last. I believe that  God descends wherever a good fusion concert takes place. Not surprisingly, when Abida Parveen and Ustad Raees Khan decided to sit and fuse a beautiful qalaam about the path and journey of a Sufi, heavens stopped and took notice. This is what we remember CokeStudio pakistan for. Goosebumps on every note and a powerful blend of two मुख्तलिफ elements. Here, the pleasing Sitar is aided by the ever so powerful Abida Parveen! In an otherwise blemish free composition, the only thing that irritated was the bad drumming. Not stealing away any credit from the producers, but it would take amazing talent to have legends of this stature and make a bad song. Thumbs up!

All an all an average episode that is severely let down by the over the top theatrics and poor choice of 2 songs out of 4.

When the season 1 started, the producer had no benchmark to go to..and then history was created. With Season 7 starting at this note, I hope it gets better than this as the days go on. It is NOT a T.V. Drama, dear new producers…Music is what sets everything right, so please focus on that,  Will you?

Haider – Music Review And Artists/Technicians Credit

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Here is to the album of the year! Haider
You can read the review here –
You can listen to the music review @ BBC here –
Most importantly, here are the track wise music credits for the people who make it all work.
The list is shared by Rekha Bharadwaj. Thank you Ma’m! :)

1. Aao Na (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Vishal Dadlani
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Guitars - Ankur Mukherjee
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Steve Fitzamaurice (365 Artists)
Assistant Mix Engineer - Darren Heelis
Mixed at - The pierce rooms, London
Mastered - Christian Wright @ Abbey road Studios, London

2.Bismil (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Sukhwinder Singh
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Choir Arrangements - Neuman Pinto
Choir - Neuman pinto, Bianca Gomes,Francis Castellino, R.N. Iyer Vivienne Pocha, Rajiv Sunderesan, Kaustubh date, Mandar Apte and Arun Ingle
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Steve Fitzmaurice (365 artists)
Assistant mix engineer - Darren heelis
Mixed at - The Pierce rooms, london
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey road studios, london

3. Khul Kabhi to  (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Arijit Singh
Music producer - Tushar parte, Ketan Sodha
Guitars - Tushar Parte
Music assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed By - Steve Fitzmaurice (365 artists)
Assistant mix engineer - Darren heelis
Mixed at - The pierce rooms, London
Mastered by - Christian wright @ Abbey Road Studios, London

4. Jhelum (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Vishal Bhardwaj
Music Producer - Simaab Sen
Guitars - Mayukh Sarkar
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - TRE Nagella
Mixed at - Luminous Sound, Dallas, USA
Mastered by - Christian Wright, abbey road

5. Gulon Mein Rang (Faiz Ahmad Faiz)
Additional Composition - Vishal Bhardwaj
Original Composer - Mehdi Hassan
Singer - Arijit Singh
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Guitars - Arijit Singh
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Arijit Singh
Mixed by - Steve Fitzmaurice (365 artists)
Assistant Mix engineer - Darren Heelis
Mixed at - The Pierce rooms, london
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey Road Studios, London

6. Do Jahan (Gulzar and Kashmiri folk, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singers - Suresh Wadkar and Shraddha kapoor
Music Producers - Tushar Parte, Ketan Sodha
Guitars - Tushar Parte
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Steve Fitzmaurice @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Assistant Mix engineer - Darren Heelis
Mixed at - The Pierce rooms, London
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey road Studios, London

7. Ek aur Bismil (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Sukhwinder Singh
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Steve Fitzmaurice (365 artists)
Assistant mix engineer - Darren heelis
Mixed at - The pierce rooms, London
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey Road Studios, London

8. So Jao (Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singers - Bashir Lone, Bashir Bhawani, Muzamil Bhawani, Mayukh Sarkar, Aalaap Majghavkar & Sourabh Joshi
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded by - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Ketan Sodha & Salman Khan Afridi
Mastered by - Christian Wright @ Abbey Road Studios, London

9. Aaj ke Naam (Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Vishal Bhardwaj)
Singer - Rekha Bhardwaj
Music Producer - Ketan Sodha
Tabla - Vinayak Netke
Music Assistant - Mayukh Sarkar
Recorded By - Salman Khan Afridi @ Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mixed by - Salman Khan Afridi & Ketan Sodha
Mixed at - Studio Satya, Mumbai
Mastered by - Christian WrighT @ Abbey Road Studios, London



Music Review – Desi Kalakaar by Yo Yo Honey Singh via @BBCHindi


Hi, Here is the link for the album that you must play to get information out of any enemy you capture.

Before you feel I have a bone to pick with Honey singh, please do understand that I don’t play honey singh’s album thinking we will find unlplugged/ghazal-sque compositions there. What is missing in this album is honesty of effort.

I have heard it, so that you don’t have to!

Link 1 –

Alternate link –

© BBC Hindi at all times

Music review of Mary Kom and Finding fanny

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The reviews for both the films are now live on the BBC website

Listen to the wonderful music album and then listen to the music review of Mary Kom here –

50% out of tune and 50% just about hitting the mark I feel the music of finding fanny is and  here is the music review of of the same –

Feedback, brutal feedback welcome

Oh Soundcloud! Hey Soundcloud!

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From converting simple button pusher into an almostareview sorts, Internet has helped us in more ways than one.

Off late there have been too many links of superb musical experiments that have been passed along to everyone around me. This is my effort to put on record, which ones are my favorite.

1. Where it all started – I am too backward when it comes to exploring things and sounds on internet. Thanks to Amit who sent me this song. It’s a simple take on an old classic and somehow there is a lot of emotion in this one. Check it out here if you wish to. To me, this is the attempt that pushed me into buying a guitar for myself. My favorite part? The humming towards the end and a superb guitar throughout! Thank you Amit!

2. There are attempts and then there are full ballistic super professional presentation! Our man @krishashok is all about good stuff and -this track is just like that! The background, arrangement and superb singing by @rvijaynarain I cannot get enough of this track.

3. It’s time for some goodness from Pakistan. Meet Shahi Hasan. Every track on this channel is quite good but it will take some getting for me to move beyond Tajdar-e-haram full version. Check it out and preferably on a good music system or a good pair of headphones.

4. Some channels haven’t been very active since sometime but their existing uploads have given us a good reason to cheer and wait for more. Saad follows is one of the many channels that fall under this category. Do check it out

5. Last but not the least, have you checked out Meera’s channel? Go hear the Sooha Saha done by her. Lyrics Nazis might not like it much. Hear it and tell me if you also don’t feel like picking up the microphone/voice recorder and give singing a try.

As you can see, I am totally poor at soundcloud’s treasure hunting. If you have some links, pass on may be?



BBC music reviews

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It’s been a while since I have put anything on this blog.

To those 2 people who read my posts here, happy to inform that I have been asked by BBC guys to do some audio music reviews for them. Have pasted the links below for some review which I have already done for them. Will keep updating the blog with BBC links (as long as BBC guys are able to tolerate me) :)

Ek villain – Music review
Humpty Sharma
Hate Story 2
Amit Sahni ki list
Its entertainment
Dawat e ishq
Raja Natwarlal
Singham returns
BBC Azaadi – 2014 :) (a short feature on things from which Hindi film music still needs freedom)

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