This month, the sbcltr list of essential music is a playlist from a pakistani feminist collective

Anybody who documents the work of South Asian women artists deserves a shout out. For this reason alone, we’re recommending the thirty eight track playlist by Girls At Dhabasa pakistani feminist collective.

Girls at Dhabas, aims at reclaiming public spaces in Pakistan. A part of their work is also building an impressive sound library in an attempt to document the work of South Asian women in music, arts and culture.

Luckily for us, they’re fond of making playlists. Their first list featured thirty eight tracks and they recently released a follow up list of another thirty eight songs. Of course it has some usual suspects like Slowspin, Nomad, Pardafash, Sabdunes etc, but it also has enough of an eclectic mix to make for an interesting listen.

The theme for the playlist is longing and desire, as seen through the eyes of South Asian women. The Girls accompanied the playlist with the following note, “…It is a sequel to the first playlist, in a way, but it goes beyond visible spaces, and instead delves into the innermost spaces residing within female musicians from our region. What drives these women to see more, do more, be more than who they are? What leaves them wanting more?
Who are we, as women, within and beyond these confines and places in which we exist? What drives us and our beating, bleeding hearts to escape all those things encircling and besieging us? The driving force that propels our hearts and minds forward – our lust for life, our insatiability — what are we – each of us – tied to that we want to break free from?
It goes without saying that there is no collective message to be deciphered here. There can’t possibly be. Our desires are complex, resolute, meandering, fragile, and our very own — there is no one experience, no single truth. The music in this playlist is a testament to female longing and desire as documented by South Asian music of all genres – indie, fusion, classical, electronic – and symbolic of a larger conversation led by female musicians from Nepal, Pakistan and India.”

Give it a listen below and tell us your favourites from the list.



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