Tafo featuring Nahid Akhtar with Mehdi Hassan and A. Nayyar – Zambo Zambo

• “Zambo Zambo” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to Hallvard Fauske Ekdahl.

8.0 “Fantastic Desi from Pakistan”

Taken from the film “Jasoos” by Iqbal Yusuf, 1977 and possibly featured on a local soundtrack LP release at the time? For sure, included on “Life Is Dance” (Finders keepers FKR049CD/LP) in 2011.

So the USA have Hollywood, India has Bollywood, Pakistan has Lollywood, Nigeria has Nollywood, Nepal has Kollywood, Peru has Chollywood, South Africa has Sollywood and New Zealand has Wellywood.

Don’t say I never teach you nothing.

As leading exponents of Lahore’s vibrant self-contained film industry the Brothers Tafo gave Lollywood its first Rock Group in the form of its expanded Sexet commonly known as Tafo or Taffoo to Punjabi and Urdu listeners. Mostly instrumental in composition, the sibling writing team emerged in 1970 providing incidental music and sonic variations for Lollywood love storys under the direction of Pakistans freakish equivalent of RD Burman, Mr. M.Ashraf with whom they would enjoy over a decade of film scoring and musical experimentation at the expense of the hi tech EMI funded recording studios in Lahore. State of the art echo-plexes, primitive drum machines, analogue synths, fuzz pedals and man-made mayhem provided many otherwise mundane film-scenes with playful and infectious freak-rock courtesy of these ‘behind-the-scenes’ uber-legends who would also be the first Lollywood group to record their own rare pop LP.

Finders Keepers have this to say:

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.

Heard on Sean Hocking’s July 2015 show on Dandelion Radio.

You can get this one directly from Finders Keepers.


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