Film music from Pakistan has had less international exposure than film music from India, and the films themselves have had less exposure too, the diaspora is not as large, and the amount of money sloshing around Lahore’s Lollywood is smaller than the amount rolling around ex-Bombay’s Bollywood. On the bright side they’re doing better than their other neighbors in Afghanistan, who don’t have a -wood of their own, and rely instead on north Pakistan’s Peshawar Pashto Pollywood. Life Is Dance! is a Lollywood album. The music is slither and fuzz. Fuzz because the cheap production values on some of the songs have a tough seething edge, a brilliant hardness—Nazir Ali’s voice rings down like an axe, and when she calls you “silly” it’s so powerful you blush and laugh. Slither because the tunes often have an regional-Islamic sinuosity, which comes in useful when a temptress character is referring to the listener as a “Naughty Boy” or telling him to “Catch Me If You Can”. All in all, Life Is Dance! is a great job of retro crate-digging.
// Notes from the Road
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