Electronic musicians Asfandyar Khan (aka TMPST) and Bilal Nasir Khan (aka Rudoh) represented Karachi’s budding electronic music collective and independent record label Forever South (FXS) at India's multi-genre music festival, The Magnetic Field Festival.
The three-day festival kicked off yesterday at its usual venue – a stunning 17th century palace-turned-hotel called the Alsisar Mahal in Rajhastan – where FXS performed alongside Indian music label known as Consolidate. The showcase was presented as a friendly competition between the two collectives.
"The forever South v Consolidate event [was] meant to be a showcase of two unique collectives from each side of the border and the sort of music they're making," Asfandyar spoke to Images, before departing for India. “It [wasn't] a collaboration, but basically a DJ set with some of my own tunes and some other tracks from Forever South artists."
This was the first time Pakistani and Indian underground electronic musicians shared a stage. Making it there was not an easy task for FXS. The political situation between the two countries has seen its fair share of ups and downs lately and the visa process for the two musicians proved to be difficult.
“Applying to India is very cumbersome, even if some aspects are understandable,” Asfandyar explained. “Sometimes it can also just be very arbitrary. The fact that I applied in the past and got the visa also didn’t help with the process this time either, because it seems every few months they change the guidelines.”
However, yesterday's showcase went off without a hitch. The hope is that FXS's participation will boost its presence and listenership on a global scale.
“Considering how THUMP/NOISY (Vice’s music front) is helping sponsor this showcase, I feel it will definitely help us gain some more international recognition," shared Asfandyar.
Not only does the festival provide a platform for the region's underground musicians, but it also invites musicians from all over the world, ranging from Germany and the US to Malaysia and Israel.