Coke Studio’s second episode presents a whole new palette of genres and artists and conveys yet another kaleidoscopic view on the diversity of music in Pakistan. The Coke Studio journey continues with a selection of fusion songs that pay tribute to the unique and enduring traditions of classical, folk and qawwali music, side by side with modern compositions by popular contemporary artists.
The episode opens with Sajjad Ali’s “Kirkir Kirkir”. An up-tempo and lively modern track, ‘Kirkir’ is guaranteed to provoke a smile. This is a fun number, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics truly typical of Sajjad Ali and a rambunctious jhol on the dholak that makes foot-tapping and head-bobbing all but irresistible.
Changing gears smoothly, Coke Studio follows up with a traditional Rajasthani song “Senraan Ra Baairya” by Asif Hussain Samraat and Zoe Viccaji. Sung by the virtually unknown Asif Hussain Samraat, in an obscure dialect Marwari, this song combines the delicate subtlety of the light classical style of thumri with contemporary accompaniment. With Zoe Viccaji’s ambient vocals adding an ethereal dimension to the traditional composition this Coke Studio version of “Senraan Ra” is both evocative and intriguing.
Folk legend Attaullah Khan Essakhelvi follows with a poignant rendition of “Ni Oothaan Waale”. In a true representation of the age-old folk tradition of storytelling through song, “Ni Oothaan Waale” recounts the tragic tale of mythical lovers Sassi and Punno. Coke Studio’s vibrant contemporary sound offsets the timeless magic of Esakhelvi’s voice to make “Ni Oothan Waale” a veritable treat.
Kaavish is next on this episode of Coke Studio, with the sweet tranquility of their lowri “Nindiya Re”. Featuring minimalistic percussions and the feather light tonality of the xylophone “Nindiya Re” is a persuasive invocation that soothes the senses and brings on a peaceful calm.
Coke Studio’s Episode 2 ends on a high note with “Kangna” by the master craftsmen of Qawwali, brothers Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammad.