by Vítor Henrique Guimarães @ 11/11/2021
In Música Pavê’s latest podcast, musician Curumin spoke a little of his reflections on what moves and unites us around music, both as artists and as listeners. He said that he has been looking for inspiration from artists from Asia, the Middle East and how the logic of production and consumption of music there is different from that imposed by the market. As he spoke, I immediately remembered the artists that I bring here for you.
Jaubi is a Pakistani quartet composed by Ali Riaz Baqar (guitar, who also signs most of the songs), Zohaib Hassan Khan (sarangi, the main string instrument of Pakistan, Nepal and India), Qammar ‘Vicky’ Abbas (drums) ) and Kashif Ali Dhani (tabla, a percussive instrument also popular in the region). The band generated some buzz in 2016 when they released The Deconstructed Ego, daring EP that mixes elements of jazz, Hindustini (Indian classical music) and hip-hop – including a cover of “Time: Donut of The Heart”, by J Dilla, on the track “Dilla Taal”.
In 2019, English multi-instrumentalist Tenderlonius and Polish pianist Latarnik joined in Laore (Pakistan’s most populous city) to record something with the quartet and from the sessions came the Ragas From Lahore (released by English in 2020) and the seven tracks that make up the Nafs at Peace, and then poetics and sonority play hand in hand: if “jaubi” is the Urdu word for “whatever” and “nafs” means “oneself”, and the entire recording process valued the intimate musical expression of each musician (no there were scores and not even titles for the tracks before they were recorded), what we hear on each track is proof that intimacy doesn’t necessarily have to be lonely. There are great acquaintances attuned, who help each other and adjust to each chord in a light and beautiful way.
The disc opens with a soft sigh in Seek Refuge, goes through flirting with rock in Raga Gurji Todi, delves into the Hindu sounds of Straight Path a Zari and ends epically in Nafs at Peace, which is certainly one of the most epic and stunning experiences in music in 2021. It’s an album that builds itself to transcend, in and out of the body; it is an invitation to walk through the old and discover the new, conceiving new points of view.
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