Filed under: Pakistan
“Why do you like this stuff?”
“How did you find out about this?”
“Why do you care?”
I get asked those questions all the time. Just about every musician from Pakistan that I corresponded with over the last few yeas has asked that.
I have always been a big fan of instrumental guitar music. I took – um, I mean borrowed – my mother’s Ventures records when I went away to college. When you add in the cultural influences in Pakistan – being situated between Afghanistan, India and Iran – you end up with a sound that was, and still is, unlike anything heard anywhere else on the planet.
But I had no idea any of this even existed a few years ago, not until I got a CD-R from a guy named Henri in Holland. On that disc, were three of the four tracks from The Panthers‘ Folk Tunes of Pakistan on Electric Sitar and Western Instruments e.p. Not too much later, I stumbled upon 4 Folk Tunes of Pakistan by The Fore Thoughts. By about the time I got my paws on The Mods‘ Folk Instrumentals of Pakistan, I knew I was on to something. But I am sure you are wondering – Why folk tunes? I never did get an answer to that one…
Very little is known about The Aay Jays. This single was the band’s only release. The band was featured on the first two volumes of Pakistan International Airlines‘ In Flight Music series, the second of which included the song “Balley Balley”, which was does not appear on this single. The Aay Jays – as well as The Abstracts, The Blue Birds, The Bugs, The Fore Thoughts, The Mods and The Panthers, Nisar Bazmi and Sohail Rana – are featured on Sublime Frequencies‘ latest release: Pakistan • Folk and Pop Instrumentals 1966 – 1976. The double gatefold LP features 22 tracks, sourced straight from the original EMI Pakistan masters. For information on the record release party, you can go HERE.
Many thanks to Marthy Coumans for the vinyl transfer and cover scan of this single.
Catalog number EKCE 20023 on EMI Pakistan, released 1973.