Pakistan is currently catering to a number of super-groups in modern times. Examples include Mughal-e-Funk, Chand Tara Orchestra, Takatak, Sounds of Kolachi and the revamped Malang Party and Mauj.
One similar act that can be called a super-group is Wisdom Salad. The reason is that all four members have strong accomplishments as individuals. Now the band has taken its passion to the next level by releasing its debut music video, ‘Begin’ - shot in Islamabad by Ali Ashraf. Sonically, this is just the right single with which a band featuring musicians so accomplished should have released. A single creates curiosity about an act or makes you ambivalent. This single does the former.
‘Begin’ opens like an electronic, dreamy-pop song and lyrically tries to offer hope even though it also carries a sense of hopelessness and despair. The song has almost-baroque transitions that come at just the right time; it gains an indie singer-songwriter vibe akin to Sufjan Stevens on Carrie & Lowell in the middle and just when you think it’s taking an acoustic road, ‘Begin’ starts to blend electronic elements. After the first 2 minutes or so comes the guitar and makes its presence while merging with all the musical elements. Talal Qureshi also makes an appearance, which is a nice surprise. There are other appearances as well. The music video is a bit darker in its approach. As a man is beaten to pulp, the song echoes, “Gotta feeling this will last forever” and it is a very poignant Kafka-esque observation.
According to Wisdom Salad, “’Begin’ is about the cyclical nature of life. How we often get bogged down in the mire of daily life and it just seems like running down the same hallway forever but there is always respite. Somewhere.”
Wisdom Salad consists of Daud Ramay (involved with acts such as Takatak, Sikandar Ka Mandar, Keeray Makoray, Janoobi Khargosh and even playing for Poor Rich Boy); Musti or Mustafa Tauseef aka Dr. Toffee (who is working on various projects including Sikandar Vincent Khan’s ‘Begunnah’).
The other two members include Shamsher Rana, (collaborating with Faris Shafi, VIP, Takatak as well as working on the score for Saqib Malik’s Baaji and Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha). The last but certainly not the least member of the group is Asjad Ilahi Junaid. He provides the “dynamic voice tows, the line between epic highs and sultry lows” and is also an ACE certified trainer.
Not new to the music scene, Wisdom Salad also played at the 2018 edition of Lahore Music Meet during showcase performances with Roots. ‘Begin’ is a great way to introduce yourself to Wisdom Salad as well as to the new, emerging sounds coming out of Pakistan. Find the song on YouTube.