Recently, Nabihah Iqbal aka Throwing Shade , put us onto a new compilation release of Pakistani music, created by Pakistani label Foreversouth music. We were totally blown away by what we heard and we knew we had to find out more about the label and the audibly vibrant Pakistani music scene. We started chatting to label head Dynoman, a producer himself, making all sorts of brilliant beats and dance tracks, including some fire garage, and invited him to curate our first ever south-asian city guide, of his hometown Karachi, Pakistan!
Check out the map above and interview below for Dynoman’s favourite spots, while you listen to a 100% Karachi mix.
Favourite place to buy records?
I didn’t collect records much in Karachi due to the fact that they aren’t easily available. We used to have a market in DHA (Defense Housing Authority) called Sunday Market, which had a huge stack of records and record diving was fun there. I collected cassettes and CD’s more and used to go to two stores in Karachi called Laraib and Muzika.
Favourite live music venue?
The Arts Council Amphitheater is a great venue and another one of my favourites is the Artists Commune. In recent times a lot of old venues are less used/going defunct but Bay View Auditorium, The Royale Rodale Rooftop and the PACC Amphitheater were all historic venues where I would perform during my youth and attend shows. Another great venue is the Alliance France Garden.
Photo by Humayun Memon
Best Sound system/Club?
Karachi doesn’t have clubs per say but rather event promoters who organize nights instead. FXS (Foreversouth Music) used to host a lot of cool event series from 2012-2015, there are also the Tribal Fusion cats who organize a lot of club/parties. The best sound system for such gigs are by Box in a Box in Karachi, big ups! Anyone in Karachi trying to throw a party should note these names down and get in touch!
Best view of the City?
Karachi is a huge hug huge city. I have seen a killer view of Karachi from an observation deck near Hill Top Park in PECHS and going crabbing in the port near Kemari you get to see a beautiful view of the lights of the port too. These are really nice views of Karachi but you can actually get a super view of Karachi from any rooftop in the city. Its a wildly planned city and really a treat to see, so I recommend either getting to high ground or going outside the city and looking in.
Photo by Humayun MemonFavourite Cafes and Restaurants? Favourite cafes and restaurants
Chai Wala is a cafe. Its a great place to hang out with a large group of friends for some late night chai session and chats. I’m a huge foodie and am very fond of the Biryani Karachi. Amongst my favourite joints are Indus Biryani, where my FXS crew and I took our European friends when we were recording the collaborative LP, The Karachi Files. Another great biryani joint is my wife and I’s personal favourite, Biryani of The Seas and the up and coming Biryani Mastani. I also love Pakistani Chinese food. Yong Tom is a restaurant near Tariq Road where my good friend Faiz Zaidi and I have often enjoyed soup, shrimp curries and fish. Our FXS crew also took the Karachi Files participants out for some local BBQ to BBQ Tonight. For vegetarian food I would recommend Cafeela and for a healthy option, N’eco’s.
Is there somewhere you like going to escape the hustle and bustle and take some time away for yourself?
My best friend who I have known since as long as I can remember, has a beach house, which is an absolutely amazing place to go to for a few hours, unwind and come back to Karachi. I have spent a lot of my youth growing up in that hut with lifelong friends, it’s great place to collect your thoughts and escape the realities of Karachi. Though the traffic going to the beach is always insane, it is well worth it. I also like going to my friend’s roof where me and his dog usually hang out listen to music and disconnect. I like creating places within the city which are my getaways. I rely on my friends a lot to give me that escape and can get away by just going over to their places. Some other cool places to escape the hustle would also be some city parks where the greenery is a breathe of fresh air to Karachi’s usual desert appearance.
Best place to experience something unique to Karachi?
I would say visiting Saddar Electronics Market, Burns Road for food or taking the Super Savari Express tour will all lead to unique, fun experiences in Karachi. Also visiting Sea View either during the day or night are very cool too. A good idea would be to take a camel ride at sunset and then drive one of the quad bikes around the beach.
Photo by Humayun Memon
First thing you miss after leaving Karachi?
I really miss my family. I grew up with heavy emphasis on family and have a great support system in Khi. I live with my parents, grandparents and siblings when we all lived in Karachi together. I miss them the most and my friends as well. Asides from friends family and food I also really miss the pace of Karachi. It can be super slow but really fast at the same time. Its also a huge city of 22million people and a tiny community of 500 to a personal circle of 5. Its seriously the best.
Best place to see other mediums of art?
Photo by Humayun Memon
What are your favourite shops for things other than music?
I like poking around Saddar for lights and some music gear, Delawala used to be a huge part of my life buying video games and consoles, Liberty books for comics when I used to buy them and Zainab Market for clothes. Right now there are these “Karachi vs Everybody” t-shirts I really want to get my hands on!
Are there any markets in your city worth checking out?
Yes…too many to list..Google could probably tell you of some better than I can. Karachi is a city of markets. You have a market for anything here. One of our vegetable market is called Empress Market. One of the main places to buy groceries, stationary, auto repair, entertainment, anything you want is called “Khadda Market” this literally translates into “Ditch Market”. Anyway, I digress. (Muzika is in Khadda Market)
Photo by Humayun Memon
Who’s doing good things for Karachi music right now, who you’d like to shout out?
Shout outs to Black Peach Project, Alt-State, Sixth Shade, Foreversouth Music FXS!, Rudoh, Box in a Box, Foozie, Tollcrane, JOFU, Block-2, TMPST, Ahmer Karachi Khatmal , Slowspin, Nawksh, Smax , Noahs, APJ, Al ak, Discounkle, Tribal Fusion, Bilal Brohi, Natasha Humera Ejaz, Natasha Noorani, Ali Suhail, Sikandar Ka Mandar and D/A Method.
Are there any interesting organisations/charities/projects involving music based/happening in your Karachi?
First off, T2F. T2F, or The Second Floor, is a haven for musicians, artists, film makers, anyone in the creative industry of Pakistan. They are a community which allows artists to use their space to create, perform, think and learn. The founder, Sabeeh Mahmud, was a friend and colleague of mine who tragically lost her life for her cause. I have some special CD’s up at T2F which can only be found there – not even the internet. They also host many other forms of art in their space like poetry, standup comedy, bands, theatre, work shops, free thinking sessions and have an awesome cafe upstairs.
I would also like to mention Care for Health which is an organization in Karachi doing NGO work for people suffering mental illness. They do awesome fund raisers, social media campaigns and offer counseling. They are really cool and I would like to get more involved with them.
Photo by Humayun Memon
Who are some of your favourite up-and-coming DJs/producers/musicians bubbling up in Karachi right now?
The music buzz I am most excited for is TMPST’s EP, Eridu’s EP and an FXS Genre release coming out this year! ITs going to be dope!
Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us? Where and how did you record it, what was the idea behind it and are there?
Currently I am completing a graduate school program in L.A so I recorded it in my bedroom. The mix is very personal to me because it marries music of my past, from icons and stars, to the music that the scene I associate with, has created since the early 2000’s. It is a beautiful vibey mix which blends different time eras in Karachi’s music scene and strikes me personally, because most of the music is made by my friends or people I know and have grown up together with, as an artist for years now It makes me proud to be still putting this music out. This mix will take you on a journey through the streets of Karachi from Gulshan Iqbal to the Netty Jetty Bridge. The mix seamlessly transitions between tracks made in our vibrant, burgeoning indie scene – which you will notice is super high in quality, innovation and originality.
And finally, what’s on the horizon for you in terms of live dates or releases we should look out for?
Right now I am on a little break till I finish grad school, get some gear and learn a few new tricks. But I still have my sophomore LP coming out middle of this year! Travels to Janaicah 2 will be out and should feature around 13 tunes. I would also say keep an eye on in NYC from August for me and eyes on SXSW 2018 for something from the FXS crew 😉
Junoon – Sayonee
Vital Signs – Maula
Sajjad Ali – Love Letter
Junoon – Lal Meri Pat
Ali Suhail – Trees
Chi Boss – Islamabad Vice
Dynoman – Walnut Warriors
Mighty Hook – Hearts
Mighty Hook – Polka
Dynoman – A Lullaby
Dynoman – Moonstruck
Dalt Wisney – Smokey Daze Forever
Rudoh – All About You
Dynoman – Yeden
The Milestones – Aag
Basheer & The Pied Pipers – Mallet
Dalt Wisney – Dingbat the Singing Cat
Dynoman – Geese Geese
Dalt Wisney – Under the Radar
Dynoman – Imaginary Parrots Cheebay
Friedi – Kymatica
Dynoman – Astro
Dalt Wisney – We’re Spending the Day
Dynoman – The Time Piece
Mole – The Big Bubble
Slowspin – Day
Noah’s Heark – Small Creatures Carried on Turtleback
Mightyhook – Please
Tollcrane – Strunk Life Jiving (Friedi Remix)
Leo’s Trip – Shake it Down
Tollcrane – Weekend Paycheck
Leo’s Trip – With Some Other Girl
Friedi – Kimchi
Dynoman – Purple Lofted Wings
Friedi – FM4LYF
Dynoman – Chimera
TMPST – Atavist
Dynoman & Al Ak – Let it Rain
Dynoman – ID
Dynoman – Rise Jamming
Noah’s Heark – Morn (Ft. Smax)
Eridu – Conforntation
Nazia Hassan – Disco Dewanee
Dynoman – Mountains in Love
BNK – Sonido
Dynoman – The Return
Mightyhook – Twees
Dynoman – Aqua Clunk
Hatim – Getting Closer
Al Ak – Some Days
Dynoman – Stolen Secrets
Basheer and The Pied Pipers – Dreaming to You
Slowspin – Day
Mighty Hook – Even If
Nakama – Observatory + Heartlight
Smax – Baat
Block- 2 & Dynoman – Gnarl
Block – 2 & JOFU – HATMF
Dynoman – Viking Bruce
Nawksh – Y We Fall
Nakama – Yesterdays Arms
Noahs Heark – Blue Breathes
Rudoh – No Need
Nazia Hassan – Boom Boom
Smax – Railways
Slowspin – Wilted Greens
dynoman – Kiran
Dynoman – Naubahar
Dynoman – Frnga 4 Ur QTR Chub
Smax – Frank (Ft. Winston Bloom)
Dynoman – Avalon
Dynoman – Barefoot (Ft. Abdullah Siddiqui and Sahin Naqvi)
Slowsipin – 04 souls