خواب

Friend of the show Hassan Asif sends the following review of Maanu’s Khwaab:

Maanu is a fairly recent addition to Pakistan’s second wave of underground hip hop scene after cult favorites like Faris Shafi and Lyari Underground. The song, Khwaab, is a part of his debut album titled, Yain City. ‘Yain’, as Lahoris will know is the colloquial term to express some sort of a chaos. But it is not entirely about being obscured by the chaos; it is also about making something out of the bleakness. Essentially, it’s a term that expresses frustration but also an underlying will to also go through the yain.

The song starts off and ends with sample of a call which is apparently with one of Maanu’s ‘bros’. The call celebrates persistence and the second sample at the end of the song confirms that it is about Maanu’s dive into unchartered territories with this kind of music with an encouragement to keep going. 

The music video explores a colorful void replete with retro neon colors – a hint of a nostalgic reverence for what’s gone by but simultaneously looking into the future with sheer audacity. Maanu faces the camera as he sings while various colored filters wash over the screen, showcasing the trippy artistic sensibilities of the directors Zain Peerzada and Luke Azariah who play for Takatak, long-time flagbearers of the Pakistani heavy metal underground in Lahore. 

Underground music scenes across the world are collaborative in nature, with close-knit connections resulting in systems of support not afforded by the mainstream. The Pakistani underground is no different and this synergistic work between Maanu and Takatak is representative of that. This music, the video and promotional materials are made by the musicians themselves espousing a DIY ethic. 

The sound is filled with a somber yet catchy bassline interspersed with a very tasty use of synth. The chorus is uplifting that will make you reverberate with it leaving you with a sense of the Lahori urban experience. This is a song for today’s Lahore. 

Maanu sings: 

ہاں یہ دنیا الگ، ہم الگ ہیں
باقی سب ہیں مگر ہم تو فرق ہیں
زندگی ہے مشکل پر صبر ہے
اگر مگر چھوڑو بولو اگر کوئی قدر ہے

Haan ye dunya alag, hum alag hain 
Baaki sab hain aam par hum tou farak hain 
Zindagi hai mushkil par sabar hai 
Agar magar chorro bolo agar koi qadar hai

Is it indifference to the surroundings? No. 

It is a deeply existential response to an environment that makes you feel alienated while acknowledging that the environment is our own. So what do we do about it? 

To this, Maanu responds:

کر لے ہم پہ اعتبار بولو جو ہے زبان پہ
خوشیاں بھی ہیں یہاں بولو ڈرنے کی کیا بات ہے
ٹینشن نہیں لینی کیونکہ ہم دونوں اب ساتھ ہیں
تو آجا گم جاتے ہیں خواب میں

Kar lay hum pe aitebaar bolo jo hai zubaan pe 
Khushian bhi hain yahan bolo darnay ki kya baat hai? 
Tension nahi hai laini kyun ke hum dono ab saath hain 
Tou aaja gum jaatay hain hum khwaab mein

Cruise through a nighttime cityscape listening to this.