Basheer & The Pied Pipers – Basheer (KM Album Review)

By Hasan Faridi

Some people say it’s good to step out of your comfort zone once in a while. After listening to Basheer & the Pied Pipers new album named ‘Basheer’, you begin to wish you did it earlier. Especially seeing as it’s been released for free.

Basheer & the Pied Pipers is a live drum and bass duo based in Karachi and Islamabad who make ambient experimental music using a variety of sounds.

The album starts with “Yes”; a song blends a variety of instruments to compose an almost-hypnotic track. The track also seems to have a video-gaming essence, as some dazzle noises play behind the fast-paced guitar picking. It all comes to life at the end when a sound effect that comes from Street Fighter says ‘You win… Perfect!’

That was unexpected. But of course, this music is experimental, so you can expect a lot of surprises.

The next tracks, “Once Again” and “Circling Nowhere”, ooze experimentalism again. They’re noisy tracks at times, but this just shows us how loud Basheer & the Pied Pipers can go (imagine what they’re like live). But even so, the duo still makes unique music no matter how niche the music may be. The dedication itself shows a lot.

“NXTLVL” is possibly the most powerful track on the whole album. It’s fast, it’s heavy, and it’s filled with bassy drumbeats. If Basheer & the Pied Pipers had a theme song, this would be it. It’s even got sounds that resemble Pipers. Get it?

Lame jokes aside, “Dreaming To You” and “Seems To Me” show us how hypnotic Basheer & the Pied Pipers music can become. These tracks are some of the mellowest tracks off the whole album, yet are still effective in turning nightmares into sweet dreams.

The smallest track off the album happens to be “Monsoon” (around 1:28 in length). It’s an experimental yet groovy track that combines a different variety of sounds. Even though it finishes quite quickly, it sounds like it just segues into the next track “Stormdance”, that also has that edgy electric guitar sound throughout the song. It’s just that in this track, we get to see more guitar dynamics compared to many of the other songs.

“Mallet” is perhaps one of the best numbers in the whole album. It’s just mesmerising, with the haunting vocals singing in the background as the guitar and bass echo through our ears. The music eventually tones down, but escalate into fast drumbeats. The track is surprising without a doubt. Imagine being trapped in a room full of angels and demons fighting one another… that’s what this track sound like.

The album finishes off with “You Know I Know I Know”, a rather abstract title, and an in-your-face abstract track. We thought we saw enough looking at the album cover art, but we were wrong. This is perhaps the messiest track of the album (with percussion beats ringing everywhere), yet the sounds strangely fuse together. It does however, fit nicely at the end of the album bringing all the sounds of the universe together into one big climax.

The album without a doubt is rather unique. Perhaps it’s not the one to dance to at a party, but it’s definitely one that takes you on a groovy yet trippy journey. It’s recommended for a listen whilst looking at the stars, driving on a long motorway or watching the ocean swish over the horizon.

Without a doubt, it’s great to see original and musically talented composers and artists emerging from Pakistan.

No matter what the niche is and no matter what style it is… there is always talent in the country. Basheer & the Pied Pipers are just one of these emerging talents.