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 popcompendium 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.