So I learnt that yesterday was…6LA8’s birthday!
6LA8 , for the uninformed, is a band made of my good friend, Taimur Mazhar, and his friend Omer Asim. In the past year, it has grown from a tiny casual collection of songs to be distributed to friends, to a series of four albums and a fan following of over a hundred people. It has gone from a funny name (when we’d discuss how 6LA8 was actually like a little face…kind of…sort of…well not really :P), to a prominent name in the Pakistani ambient scene. Within a year of these two getting together, they were being mentioned alongside Asfand Yar and Mole and orangenoise, artists that have been around much longer.
IN a year, they’ve released over 73 songs. That’s a rate of more than a song a week, in case you didn’t know :P. They’ve come up with four albums. They’ve gained international fans. They’ve even evolved, like fishes getting feet. And they’re still my guitar heroes ❤ lol
I have been stupidly busy the past two months, and so have been unable to review the last two albums, despite the fact that they extremely deserved reviewing. This Is Not A Conceptual Album, and The Drone Collective were both released in July, sister albums whose successive release told the world just how prolific these guys could be. Not to mention niggling less prolific artists in the process 😛
This Is Not a Conceptual Album is an interesting album. It has songs as lovely and soft as Sleeping People Can’t Fall Down, and as strangely disturbing as Our Dog Eat Dog World. It has funky songs like Murshid Marwa na Dena (which I love) and thoughtful, repetitive songs like Teach a Man to Vote. The overall tone of the album retains a contemplative atmosphere though, and what with the slightly suggestive titles (there’s one called ‘Here is A Jacket, You Know What to Do’ hehe), it is certainly an album that puts you in a reflective mood.
The album quite seriously Denies Being Conceptual, and isn’t in the sense that the songs don’t really link up the way they do in conceptual albums. Yet the “provoked into disturbing thoughts” feel that pervades the thing links the songs on a deeper level.
The Drone Collective – which has a title that I adore because of the multiple, multiple meanings you can extract from it – is a different album. It does have a theme behind it – the theme being ‘drowning in your own misery.’ It had one of my cheeriest blogger-friends in an almost PMS-like state of depression, it is that gloom-inducing. Which is why out of the two albums, this later-released one had my heart earlier and for longer.
The songs are mostly long and ‘droning’ (ya think), mumbling and repetitive. Most of the songs are gloomy, with “Where are You?”, ‘We Would Still Need Reason in Heaven’ and “Perched on Swinging Cliffs” taking the cake. But there are a few surprises. ‘Those are my Bombs’ and ‘Everybody is a Paragon’ are fast paced and interestingly awake, and the latter is one of my favourite tracks from the album.
But yeah. I’d still advise you not to listen to the thing when you’re feeling suicidal. Instead, put it on now, close your eyes, and let the misery slowly flood the room, past your ankles, past your knees, your chest, your neck, and your nose, until you are veritably drowning in it.
It’s an interesting experience.
All the albums can be found at http://6la8.bandcamp.com/ If you don’t listen to it, I will personally hunt down and make you.