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Pakistan’s underground music scene is vast and unexplored. Concert venues are typically someone’s backyard, basement or living room. As for the musicians they are usually young, ambitious, cash-strapped and in dire need of a breakthrough.
Taka-Tak is no different. For the last eight years, it has been flying under the radar. It takes its name from Lahore’s famous meat dish Kata Kat prepared with large meat cleavers slicing on burning griddles. The loud noise it creates, kata kat kata kat, is the kind of noise the six teenage boys hope to make and grab attention.
They are a first, they insist, in Pakistan. The first of its kind instrumental rock band. “There needs to be an alternative,” explains Isa Najam, the bassists, “in Pakistan’s music scene there should be music that even without vocals can be equally captivating and commanding. We hope to achieve that by exploring poly-rhythms as well as melodic harmonies.”
It was purely accidental. The band had been in search of a vocalist for a while but has had no luck. Eventually, it became its signature style and forged a vocal-less metallic path.
In January, the Lahore Music Meet held its fourth edition. Taka-Tak, to the band members surprise, was asked to headline in the main hall. “We were excited,” Najam tells Geo.tv, “It shows that we have the potential to grow if given proper exposure. It is only through live shows and festivals that Pakistan’s music scene will start to pick up again. If such shows are held every two months or so, can you imagine the change?”
Taka-Tak draws its inspirations from the American band, the Veil of Maya, while locally they are fans of the music produced by Sikandar ka Mandar. “Such bands bring something new to the table, regardless of who is listening.”
As for finances, the band says they are managing on their own for now, borrowing from their parents. “We are not a very popular genre in Pakistan,” adds Najam, “We don’t write romantic numbers and jingles for TV adverts. But we will keep playing and hope to see more diversity in Pakistan’s music scene soon.”