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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ajab Tamasha: EP stays true to its sound in a new era

LAHORE: 
The release of its new single Ajab Tamasha last week marks the start of a new era for Entity Paradigm, famously known as EP. The band is now without Fawad Khan and is hoping to make a full-on comeback with more music and performances.
It seems EP has had enough of complacency and will be more active as a band, rather than riding on the success of the past. While this reshuffle coincides with the band’s 10th anniversary, there isn’t much celebration, but business as usual for the band.
The line-up includes Ahmed Ali Butt, Salman Albert and Hasaan Khalid. Butt, who was once the coveted lead singer for the underground band now returns to the limelight as a front man. “It’s the start of a new era, 10 years later, we are looking to plan the future,” says Butt. “If you saw Shor Macha, the band was going in the same direction in terms of sound; that song has a stronger emphasis on power.”
Butt has been known for his role as an entertainer and a stage personality. In EP, Butt’s role was that of an energiser, when compared to former lead vocalist-turned-actor Fawad Khan. Khan was strong on melody but also introduced the concept of head-banging in live concerts in Pakistan.
“My role in EP has always been to bring energy,” says Butt. “My plan is to continue to bring that energy. I want to keep that rap feel alive.” Referring to the new track, Butt says, “We are focusing more on hard rock, and that’s what you see in Ajab Tamasha.”


Ajab Tamasha is Butt’s social critique on media exploitation and the developing news culture. It shows how, through the media, people have fallen into a dramatic cycle of fear and senselessness.
The sound is heavy and a lot different from the softer sounding popular tunes that are prevalent in the music scene. Music today is commercial, with the emphasis on heavy music almost a thing of the past. But EP remains true to its sound and is a pioneer in hard rock music after the widely popular Junoon.
“There is definitely a gap [in the music],” says Butt. “No prominent band has really taken the reins [as far as rock music goes]. There a couple of solo singers but not many bands,” he adds. “These days, music is catered for mass production; albums are out of fashion, it’s the new age — fast and uncertain,” he adds. “The market has definitely changed. There are no labels and people don’t buy albums. Musicians are looking to survive,” he explains.
It’s been nine years since the band has released an album. Irtiqa is a classic for the old rock listeners; the question is: will their fans still enjoy a hard rock number?
“Whenever the band has released new music, audiences increase,” says Butt. “EP remains to be all about the music.”
Bassist Hasaan Khalid has been with the band since its start and is gearing up for the band’s tour. He plans on releasing more tracks in the near future. “When we were in our early 20s, we attracted a fan following from our songs. And I am a strong believer that we will spark a connection with our fans again; it’s all about consistency,” says Khalid.
One track may be released as early as February and several other collaborations are also in the works. Salman Albert will be doing some backing vocals and may even lead a few tracks.
In their live shows, EP will be providing a whole new line-up to fit Butt’s vocals. “There is a new-line-up and a different set of direction. Comparisons are inevitable but I think the whole process is interesting,” adds Khalid.


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