Best Tracks of 2017
selected by Abdul-Rehman Malik


“Frank” ft. Winston Bloom

Smax’s track “Frank” from his album “Tome” is like sinking into a bed of static noise. Everything here is incredibly textured and layered and seems scrutinised under a microscope.

Occasionally this can come off as impersonal, but in the case of “Frank”, it lures you deeper, wrapping you in a thick fog of sound.

Smax’s production style certainly isn’t for everyone, but there’s something oddly beautiful about his glitchy, fragmented, underwater electronica that is hypnotising to listen to.

Smax on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.


E Sharp
“Saj Raha Hai”

This beautiful qawwali track called “Saj Raha Hai” from E Sharp is a must listen from 2017.

The Karachi band pick up a bittersweet melody on the harmonium and craft the whole song around it, layering it with rich instrumentation.

Occasionally, lead singer Ahmed Zawar’s vocal stretches into a long anguished cry that’s filled with pain. This track is one of the sparkling standouts from their album ‘600 Saal’.

E Sharp on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.


Dosti Music Project

We usually hear Slowspin in the context of an acoustic guitar or harmonium, and over washes of synthesised sound, often resulting in something that’s ethereal and misty.

On “Patience”, a Dosti Music Project initiative, the introduction of South Asian classical instruments such as the Sarod, and duetting with Debasmita Bhattacharya gives the track a more concrete essence that’s a delight to listen to.

It mixes classical and electronic elements beautifully, and is a testament to the talents of all the musicians involved.

Dosti Music on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.


Ali Suhail

Earlier in 2017 Ali Suhail released his fantastic fifth album “Pursuit of Irrelevance” and it was difficult to pick a favourite from it. But Buckle is one of the best cuts because of how much it showcases Suhail’s evolution as a producer.

The track is a mad, crazy trip down the rabbit hole, constantly shifting and mutating, sampling traffic horns and street side vendors. The ‘white rabbit’ in this sonic wonderland is the brilliantly simple bassline that beats throughout, the true heart of the song.

It’s a real treat to listen to, and it’ll leave you bewildered and confused, but desperate for more.

Ali Suhail on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.


Sikandar Nawaz Rajput
“Gol Gappay”

Sikandar Nawaz Rajput’s latest track “Gol Gappay” arrives at the perfect time as we close the door on 2017. For many, 2017 was a terrible year politically, environmentally, socially, whatever. But even despite the negativity, “Gol Gappay” provides a soft moment of perspective.

The whistles, the melancholic horns, the ‘la la las’, the endearingly simple guitar strumming. The entire track serves as a gentle nudge of encouragement: keep your chin up, it’ll all be ok in the end.

Sikandar Nawaz Rajput on Facebook, Instagram.


“Sinister Heart”

Synthpop hasn’t really caught on in Pakistan. That 80’s throwback sound is yet to really permeate our shores, but you might hear it floating out under the door of MU’s bedroom.

“Sinister Heart” is pure bubblegum synth pop, painted in bright primary colours, wearing it’s syntheticness like a badge. It’s an ecstatic summer jam, and one that needs to be blasted out of speakers to be really appreciated.

MU on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.


SomeWhatSuper ft. Abid Brohi
“The Sibbi Song”

If there’s one song that really defined the year of Pakistani music, that sunk it’s hooks into our collective brains, it would be the banger that is “The Sibbi Song”.

The track is the definition of lightning in a bottle, mixing SomeWhatSuper’s uncanny ability at crafting contagious melodies and Abid Brohi’s infectious energy.

It’s easily the anthem of the year, blaring out of every radio and stadium, and has perhaps even ushered in a new age of electronic music in Pakistan.

SomeWhatSuper on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


Wooly and the Uke

Lahore-based artist Wooly and the Uke, also known as Janat Sohail Aziz, crafts a debut track “Circus” that makes the ukulele sound ominous.

That’s a feat in and of itself. Aziz, along with Jamal Rahman’s production, creates a theatrical, melodramatic canvas which is painted with paranoia and existential doubt.

The clarinet that solos threateningly midway through the track gives off an uneasy vibe that carries all the way through. It’s one hell of a debut.

Wooly and the Uke on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.



Produced by Ali Suhail, Shajie’s new track indicates a new direction for the Karachi-based artist, one that moves away from the simplicity of the acoustic guitar towards a more experimental dimension.

There are electronic programmed drums and synthetic beeps here, but under it all is Shajie’s inimitable voice and knack for writing beautiful and emotional songs in the most simple way.

Shajie on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.


Sikandar Ka Mandar
“Gehri Neend”

Karachi band Sikandar Ka Mandar came out with their second album ’36’ in 2017, one of the best releases of the year. Confidence is an odd thing to highlight in a track, but it’s something that oozes out of “Gehri Neend”.

There’s a sense that Sikandar Ka Mandar knows exactly what they are doing and that you’re in safe hands. The lyrics are abstract and absurd, but Nadir Shahzad sings them with absolute sureness. This is a band that’s grown into itself. It’s a brilliantly produced bit of music.

Sikandar Ka Mandar on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.