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Gaudi: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Dub Qawwali Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Gaudi’s Dub Qawwali is further evidence that the mighty talent of Nusrat Fateh Ali...

Jaspreet Pandohar 2007

This album is a featured release on BBC's Asian Network

Released to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s death, Dub Qawwali is London-based producer and composer, Gaudi’s ode to one of the world’s greatest Qawwals (singer of Qawwali music).

Considered a legend both in and outside of his home country, Nusrat was dubbed the ‘Elvis of the East’ and the ‘Bob Marley of Pakistan’, and travelled the world promoting his unique brand of music inspired by the mystical faith of Sufism. His untimely death left behind a vast repertoire of songs that have been sampled by countless DJs and composers over the years, as well as being included in international soundtracks (Bandit Queen, The Last Temptation of Christ).

Using recently discovered and rare vocal parts recorded in sessions in Pakistan in the late 60s and 70s, Gaudi pays fitting tribute to the master vocalist with an inspiring arrangement of ten tracks. Blending the chilled out tempos of reggae with Qawwali’s spiritually rousing lyrics, he creates a surprisingly successful harmony in Dub Qawwali.

“Dil Da Rog Muka Ja Mahi” and “Tera Jana Kere Rang Lawe” stand out for their rhythmic verses and riffs. The easy-on-the-ear quality of these tracks is carried through the rest of the album, making all worthy of attention.

Nusrat’s vocal dexterity is demonstrated in the emotionally-charged “Abhi Apna Abhi Paraya Hai” and “Ena Akhiyan Noo”, and can be likened to a subtle form of eastern rap. They also highlight Gaudi’s ability to handpick interesting, not obvious, songs which combine haunting strings with dub reggae without sounding at odds.

And whether it’s the sadness-tinged “Manoo Ole Bai Ke Pee Lain De” or the happy high of “Othe Mera Yaar Wasda” which closes the album, the sounds of Dub Qawwali would feel equally at home being played at a global music festival, in a car stereo or from a Caribbean beach bar.

Gaudi’s Dub Qawwali is further evidence that the mighty talent of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan remains a source of inspiration and pleasure for musicians and listeners, even a decade after his passing.

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