By Steve Hochman / Spinner.com
Surf’s up, Islamabad! Hang 10, Lahore! Catch a wave, Karachi!
From the mid-’60s to the mid-’70s, the sounds of surf music proliferated around Pakistan. Twanged, tremeloed guitars and cheesy organs pumped out instrumentals suitable for Rincon or Trestles.
Only thing is, such bands as the Panthers, the Fore Thoughts and the Blue Birds were playing Urdu folk tunes. And in 1977, the military-led Islamic revolution dealt the scene a total wipeout.
Now, though, a new compilation – ‘Pakistan: Folk and Pop Instrumentals 1966 – 1976,’ a double-vinyl LP set from the Sublime Frequencies label – uncovers this remarkable, unlikely phenomenon. The wave made its way halfway around the world, though a few decades later, to Portland, Ore. That’s where Stuart Ellis was living, pursuing an interest in garage rock and obscure exotica, trading tips and tapes with fellow fanatics via Internet discussions. Then one day, this washed in with the mail: [...]
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