CokeStudio 12, Episode 1, Produced By: Rohail Hyatt – Review

Season Premiere

Wohi Khuda hai – Trust Rohail Hyatt to kickstart the season with a gem that didn’t really need polishing, till he polished it and presented to us. Atif Aslam, who has done more than his fair share of mesmerising work for Rohail Hyatt in the studio, gets spiritual and aces it. The silent treatment that Rohail has produced for the song raises Atif’s voice perfectly and the entourage of the accompaniment don’t disappoint. There is a moment when Atif pauses for reciting darood shareef and I kid you not, I have cried multiple times at that precise moment when it starts. See, this is what Rohail does. He goes for the jugular straight away with musical instruments and a keen sense of music and atmosphere. This gives peace and thehraav, something that has been missing from the studio since Rohail left. God what a relief to have Studio back in CokeStudio.

Episode 1 

Dam Mastam – composed in raga bhimpalasi, this one started in familiar territory and while I am always happy to hear more of what has already been done, I am always scared when Rahat fateh Ali khan is at the microphone these days. The beauty of this track is that after the slow intro, the song immediately transforms into a slow quasi qawaali-sque-trancey territory, which is signature Rohail Hyatt. I absolutely loved the first part of the song when Rahat fateh Ali goes Mastam….dam mastam and then he stops at mastam and the splendid backup vocalists sit the song down with their calm mastam. That is just the high point for me of the song. The second part of the song is dominated by Rahat being too Rahat (garaj baras re-dux) and while people might love it, for me, it diluted the mood from being one of the self sacrifice to an egotistical singer who is busy showing off his range and forgetting the mood. I wish it was done slightly better. I would always listen to it till the time Uncle Jay plays and stop immediately after that, which is about 3:52 mins. What is with the saiyaaan we rey? That made me uncomfortable like Season 7-11 used to, with their blinding lights and general disregard about the listener. No thanks Rahat! Rohail missed few tricks with this one.

Ram Pam – didn’t give me much hope when the teaser was released. Call me a liker of all things serious but I need some consistency in mood with lyrics. I am too old school to agree with a song that has dholna and RAM PAM  in it. That said, Zoe started the song brilliantly and stays that way all along. Shahab reminded me of his fabulous part in NIMMA NIMMA especially the way he started the song. His voice is just too good! I couldn’t make sense of the second part of the song, lyrics wise but yes, I absolutely loved the Baba bhatti  in the song and that’s just about it. Won’t listen to this on repeat but will not change it if it comes up on the playlist.

Maahi Diyaan Jhokaan – Goes without saying, this was the highlight of the episode and I absolutely loved the sound and range of this fabulous group. Of course, it reminded me of this lovely Moomal rano song that Rohail did in the past. Where Maahi differs from Moomal is the tune variation – the way Rohail has played and tampered with the composition in Maahi is soul satisfying. Moomal was largely linear, but has remained with me all these years. I suspect it would now get company in Maahi. The way Maahi ended reminded me fondly of the way Atif ended Channa. Remember? As a side note, I am quite worried why the video of this one has vanished from the official channel. Let us hope no nonsense is brewing again with the studio.

So, Rohail is possibly hinting to us that all episodes would have 3 songs and while I am not complaining, I would love to see a bit more maahi and wohi khuda hai and a less Ram pam going forward. Of course he would be having some aces up his sleeves.

Quick Questions

  • Did you notice how the visuals are eye soothing and not a bloody eyesore with circus lighting?
  • Did you notice the focus on melody?
  • Did you notice the return of CokeStudio Sessions? No more silly hashtags.

Looks like Studio is back in CokeStudio

Looks like Rohail Hyatt is back!

22 thoughts on “CokeStudio 12, Episode 1, Produced By: Rohail Hyatt – Review

  1. Gosh !! its a relidef to have Raohail Hayyat back in the house u back to reviews.Agreed !! loved Mahi.Loved the first part of Dam Mastm!! Ram pam was ok too.Have u noticed how soothing and sophisticated the sound is !! Compared to this,previous seasons feel noisy and loud.

  2. Superb start of Coke Studio Season 12.

    In my childhood, I used to listen Darood shareef on Radio Pakistan in the same style as did Atif – on radio it was recited in course/group whereas Atif recited it alone. Very well done.

    Episode 1 was a great effort. I liked all three songs. Thumbs up for Rohail Hyatt.

    Lastly, it is always pleasure to read @Rohwit reviews on Coke Studio. I believe @Rohwit has made a lot of fan following in Pakistan. Keep good work up, bro.

    1. Adeel you are very kind! I am just so so happy that Rohail is back. My so called comments get clouded in youtube because as you would have seen, there are too many comments there, which is good! Thanks a lot for taking out time to read this Adeel. Cheers!

      1. Is there any way we can search your comments on youtube ?? I like reading the blog as well..bt would like to read those comments too it possible..you are one of the few sensible music reviwers who has a good taste and can put it in words..your taste matches to mine..hence its interesting to read whatever you write..Cheers..

  3. The fakir troupe song is still there on YouTube.. but for some reason the CSPak website doesn’t seem to be updated with season 12. I can’t live without the 320kbps mp3s. Downloading them and listening on an HD MP3 player is the way you are supposed to listen to Coke Studio. I loved ram Pam.. cos to be honest I’m kind of bored of the heavy Coke studio stuff. Kaafi hongaya..Thora kirkir bhi chahiye beech beech mein. I’m just listening to the reworked Billo right now episode 2 and it’s a blast.. trust rohail to keep the mood balanced. Only thing missing in this season is new and young faces. But Maybe rohail also wants one season to get back in groove before going gonzo.

    1. Ola Saheb! Even I cannot live without 320 but c’est la vie, trying to find whatever I can. I liked Ram Pam, not loved it and the reason you find yourself bored of heavy CokeStudio stuff is because of that cacophonous arrangement that marked season 7 to 11 (with a possible exception of season 8). Billo is a bloody blast and so lovely! My Co-worker from Pakistan was surprised when I confessed I never played it before, but I knew all the while that it was coped by some really smart music composers on our side of the border. I am not sure what Rohail is up to. May be this is just an ‘I am back’ season. Frankly, I would not want him to undo all the bad work and scars that season 7 to 11 have inflicted on senses in this season. He built it from season 1 (literally running in the frame), and look how hashtags and silly social media types ruined it. We don’t deserve all the goodness in one go. I say take your time Rohail, but be here. be here.

      1. Yes be here,be here,be here and keep on producing till I die.I get so emotional when I read some careless and thoughtless comment of a novice thrown his way.Ready to draw blood.If ever there were a situation to choose between him and the rest of the music world.let them all go to hell but let Rohail Hayyat stay,stay,stay till eternity.

      2. Hehehe Whatay lovely! Absolutely agree. Nodding my head till it falls off 🙂 – Liked the episode? Agree/disagree with the review?

  4. Two of them are on on youtube,one got removed for copyright violation,I guess.Its available on facebook though.
    The review please ! Do it already !

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