April Issue 2009

By | Society | Published 12 years ago

Given the paucity of foreign bands that make their way to Karachi for live performances, the Goethe Institut’s decision to invite electronic duo Mouse on Mars for a concert at the Rangoonwala Community Centre on March 24 was a laudable one. Mouse on Mars, although not particularly successful commercially, have always been critics’ darlings for merging the ethos of punk and electronic music and pushing the boundaries of what was considered possible in techno music, while incorporating elements of jazz and ambient music.

The choice of the Rangoonwala Community Centre was a slightly odd one. The venue, while large enough and with excellent acoustics, provided only seating room — not the best way to enjoy the foot-stomping beats of Mouse on Mars. The crowd, too, was far from knowledgeable and seemed slightly bemused by the experimental nature of wordless songs like “Actionist Respoke” and “Diskdusk.” The following day the group conducted a workshop at the Goethe Institut.

The last time a big foreign act came to Pakistani shores, Bryan Adams performed to a crowd of thousands. Mouse on Mars’ appearance was far more low-key but also more radical, introducing a genre of music that few in the country will be familiar with.

Nadir Hassan is a Pakistan-based journalist and assistant editor at Newsline.