Call me biased, but Pakistani music, specially the stuff that graced us in the 90s and 2000s was just awesome. From the pop revolution of the 90s to the rock and Sufi/Soul fusion that embraced the masses was just something special. Time and life moves on though, and it did so big time for me. Having left Pakistan in 2006, I left touch with everything, including the music. Meanwhile, times changed for Pakistan way more than they did for me, news sensationalism took main priority for most channels, and the cultural and social advancement of the country suffered big time. For financial reasons, all the media outlets looked towards the Indian channels for the main sources of entertainment. The suffering continued.
Fresh, in fact so fresh that it is still in an invite only beta phase, Patari is taking things into its own hands, and trying to set things right. A service that offers online streaming music to its members, it features one of the best music libraries from Pakistan I have ever seen. From the old and gold to the latest releases, it has them all. Okay, not everything on the Pakistani music scene exists, but enough to give you a serious nostalgic hit. The interface is polished, clean and I am yet to discover a bug on the website when operated from a desktop. The website is operable from a mobile device too, though I have had less success there. Music plays, but it struggles to play the next song sometimes. No apps are available as of now, and it is still in beta, so not much to worry. Quality of music available varies, depending on when music was released, and recording values.
I have put questions about all these to their media team, and I have been promised answers, at which stage, I will publish another article, detailing some of the questions I had in my mind.
The user experience is well designed, and if you are at loss with what to listen, you can try the various compilations and playlists that already exist. If you want your own, you can just form a queue, listen to it, and save it.
More than just that, they are also taking part in organizing live concerts that will be streamed over it. This is not only in line with the new digital age, but also is a great effort to make sure the Pakistani music cause doesn’t die.
In fact, this is the message featuring the invite:
Today, Pakistani music has been pushed to the brink of existence. Indian music dominates every platform that people in Pakistan access music through, and not because it’s better but simply because space has been denied to our artists and our music. Patari was born out of precisely this frustration. It was because we lived through the golden age; remember the EP vs Aaroh battles? The Gohar vs Atif debates? The time Aadat introduced us to the word ‘viral’? The Noori and Junoon Concerts? If you don’t, know this: it seemed like a perpetual summer of content. It was a time when every day felt like an adventure,the sheer thrill of discovering a new musician and the intoxicating joy of huddling around a single CD-Walkman to take turns to listen to that new track you found.
But It’s all gone now. The winter of discontent is here and it refuses to go away.
The Patari dream goes beyond an app or a website. We want to bring back the music we fell in love with as kids and live concerts are an important piece in that puzzle. Not only are they the bread and butter of an artist, but ask any musician and they will tell you that the visceral energy of a concert is what they live for. The screaming fans, the magical fairy dust of an almost spiritual collective ‘haal’. That!
You, all of you amazing people helped us build Patari. Every tweet, every message counted, and now we need you more than ever, as we take our first steps at reviving this beautiful music of our country and this is why this concert matters. It’s the first step in a much grander scheme of things. Join us on the 12th of June at 7 PM as Patari, LussunTV and Kuch Khaas Islamabad brings you Sikander Ka Mandar and Shorbanoor live in Concert. let these two amazing acts enthrall you, and show you why our music is worth fighting for. Help us bring the 90’s and 2000’s back. Let’s take back our music.
You can find the event page here. Lets do it. All together.
The Patari Team
So, what are my thoughts? I have had the service working for me since this week, and not a single day has gone past where I haven’t used it. Yes, what I really want is apps for my phone, and till then there is a big wait, but till then, it is a massive step in the right direction, for Pakistani music, the digital scene in Pakistan, and more so, Pakistan as a whole.
The only thing that I must warn you about is the amount of nostalgic feels that will hit you!
You can find more about Patari music and apply for an invite at the following link:
Once you are in, the player launches at the following link:
PS, IT HAS ALL OF Dr. AUR BILLA!!!!!!!