"Life Is Dance!": Plugged-in Sounds Of Wonder at the Pakistani Picture House

Format : 2xLP / New / Compilation

Once again, Finders Keepers Record is given unparalleled access to the EMI Pakistan vaults to bring you Life Is Dance – the follow-up to 2010′s critically acclaimed groundbreaking Lollywood cinematic pop compendium The Sound Of Wonder!

Commonly, ignorantly but understandably lumped in with its wealthy not-too-distant cousin, Bollywood, Lollywood was inspired by, but often overshadowed by its posh and well travelled relative. Following the simplistic Bombay + Hollywood = Bollywood name game (that would in later years spawn Nollywood in Nigeria), Lollywood’s Lahore based film industry was a profitable and vibrant one that found great success in the modest boundaries of its own country but was seldom savoured outside Pakistan. However, the hugely important musical business spawned a bi-product that was viewed as a potential earner for international entertainment industry, EMI, which allowed talented musicians to create ambitious music with world class mediums at there disposal, which throughout the 60s and 70s ranged from fuzz guitars, space echo machines and American and European synthesizers, but, due to the composers indigenous roots, rarely a drum kit.

Here you’ll find fuzzy, scuzzy, twang-happy, spaced-out and funked up Urdu-grooves complete with harmonium melodies and driven by some of the most random factor, freakish, finger numbing, percussion that the South East Asian mainstream has ever had to offer. Above all, Lollywood soundtracks sound RAW! Re-imagine some of the most action packed Bollywood productions (which Lollywooders actively did) then fire the make-up department, take away the special effects budget and then improvise. The lack of gloss on a dusty Pakistani mini-LP makes for truly experimental Eastern pop music.

So, it’s time to meet the culprits. The names on the back of the records that’ll keep you gambling on Ghazals and taking punts on Pakistani pulp-balladry. As an introduction, in place of R.D. Burman and Asha Bhole, we have Mr. M. Ashraf and his long-term female collaborator, Nahid Akhtar. This duo would provide Pakistan with it’s Gainsbourg/Birkin or it’s Morricone/Dell’Orso for over 20 years, recording squillions of cut-and-paste sonic collages and moog-fuelled desperate love/hate/chase/chill/kill songs mixing onomatopoeic Urdu lyrics with unexpected bursts of user friendly English language (which often elongates the running time passed the 5 minute mark) and throwing in the odd motif from a Barry White or Donna Summer hit. We also have legends like Noor Jehan, a national treasure and household name in Pakistan whose discography of film songs have deprived the vaults of EMI Pakistan of floor space for half a century


A1. Zambo Zambo – TAFO feat Nahid Akhtar with Mehdi Hassan & A. Nayyar
A2. Life Is Dance – Nazir Ali feat Nahid Akhtar & Mehnaz
A3. Dear I Love You – M.Ashraf feat Nahid Akhtar
A4. Aage Bhi – Kamel Ahmed feat Mehnaz

B1. Shola Sa Bharka – Tafo feat Nahid Ahktar
B2. Naughty Boy – Tafo feat Nahid Akhtar
B3. Cobra Sway – Sohail Rana
B4. Sheeshy Ki Botal – M.Ashraf feat Nahid Akhtar

C1. Catch Me If You Can (Mere Liye Harr Dil Hai Dewaana) – Abdul Hameed feat Nahid Akhtar
C2. Too Ne Pyar Se Dekha – M. Ashraf feat Nahid Akhtar
C3. O My Love – M.Ashraf feat Nahid Akhtar
C4. Wey Titly Non Par – TAFO feat Afshan

D1. Dil Be-Qarar Mangda Ae Pyar – Tafo feat Noor Jehan & Cheeku
D2. Don’t Drink – Kamal Ahmed feat Nahid Akhtar
D3. Jawani Meri Bijli – Kamal Ahmed feat Noor Jehan
D4. Happy Chrismis – Nazir Ali feat Nahid Akhtar & Mehnaz

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