What is brewing in the Basement?

September 22, 2012

With the advent of Coke Studio, we were introduced to a whole brand new idea of presenting the musical acts which instantly got popularized with the audience. It was the element of ‘renewal’ which made even old songs, a treat to listen. More over due to the uncertain security conditions prevailing around the country, the number of live concerts has ceased to a considerable low amount and this has paved way to the opening of other alternative live platforms or sessions where artists can experiment with their own sound and the audience too can have the taste and chance to catch up with the live and un-plugged performances of their favorite stars by merely sitting in front of internet or TV screens.

Since then there has been lot of stuff going on air which seems to be inspired by this new idea. There are even programs on TV channel which present all this fusion as it happens and that too live. Then there was Ufone’s Uth Record primarily focusing on the younger lot in order to promote the new talent.

But the most recent buzz which has hit the air waves is Nescafe Basement that is surely the talk of the town these days. As the official page states, Nescafe’s Basement is a creative platform that nurtures the talent and the drive of a group of gifted unknown youngsters and their love for music.

The basement’s idea seems to be interesting with 15 underground musicians all new to this field and with the focus more on the diverse musical instruments; it is surely going to add up some extra appeal to it. And perhaps the best thing about this strange yet new program is that it is being spearheaded by none other than the music genius, Xulfi Jabbar Khan who is now very much a veteran of our music industry.

Xulfi has been the driving force behind one of the biggest pop/rock acts of our present age namely EP and Call and has produced music for countless new comers to this industry who eventually went on to become world-wide phenomenon. So harboring the younger lot is nothing new for him which makes it even more exciting. With all the young blood fused in with the master mind of Xulfi, there is lot to expect from this show.

And for all you hoping to take its first look, few days’ back the first song from Nescafe Basement was released which was a cover of Sajjad Ali’s all time hit, ‘Larri Adda’. As you all know this is kind of a real fun pumping number by the Legend which makes you hum it all along.

But seeing the expectations from the basement, one might say that the first song was a pretty average one. May be it’s the danger of picking up such a huge hit for a cover as it can go either ways. Also precisely not going into the musical details, it was kind of bit odd to have almost half a dozen backing vocalist clapping along, 3 vocalist singing together which lacked synchronization at times, and good number of other musician hanging around giving a true look of ‘Laree Adda’ with such a over crowded stage. Then the song length was also pretty annoying with clichéd sentences and specially the first two and half minutes were a total waste of time as it really makes you boring and even switch off to something else. But nevertheless, that amusing and enjoyable atmosphere all around makes it good to see after a couple of hits. It’s done in sort of a Qawali style with a lot of variation from the original number and ends up with some superb guitar riffs and groovy drums which perhaps save the day for the song, which is otherwise a very casual looking jam from a bunch of youngsters. May be earlier live sessions getting aired on TV in the past have honed up our ears so well that we are not ready to accept anything messed up or a little un-sophisticated.

However keeping in view the current dull situation of our beloved music industry with very little or totally no concerts, no albums releasing, and all the major acts in to the sleep mode with various bands getting disbanded; anything that comes up should be appreciated and most importantly when there is Xulfi in the house we should not be getting disappointed by the very first track and should wait for what might come next. As Xulfi himself claims about the project “Witness the future of Pakistani music and get blown away by the fresh new sound of the Nescafe Basement. Trust me; all of you are going to love it.”

So let’s hope for the best to come out of the basement. Fingers crossed!