In Pakistan, one of the last remaining relics of our times, resides an embodiment of the authentic experience of music creation from the golden era of Rocknroll music. Note that rocknroll does not refer to the music of Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry. Anyone, who’s well versed in history or is a music buff, can affirm that rocknroll encompasses all forms of music before they became the victim of division into “genres” as did the rest of the world & humanity, increasingly and exponentially, due to our collective, distorted sense of evolution. But it is what it is.
Back in the golden days, as us romanticists like to… well, romanticise (we have our reasons, spare us) that if you were in the US or the UK where all the legends such as Muddy Waters, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and the likes sprang from and if you were a kid who found a nylon stringer in your nan’s attic and spent numerous hours after school fiddling with it, you would eventually end up in your district’s music studio & often times that district would be where The Abbey Road Studios were situated. You knew a few chords, some fancy scales and other nonsensical sounds that were happy accidents occurring in the wee small hours of the morning when you couldn’t sleep and late grandpa’s guitar whispered to you from a corner of the room where the moonlight fell, ever so delicately, reminding you of what your fate might eventually become. The rugged faced, cigar smoking, bourbon drinking, PTSD stricken elderly gentleman consuming half the studio space with his presence would let you play what you knew. And, without a doubt, you played what was on the radio. You played what was familiar, what was u original, a skilful regurgitation of pre-existing archetypal melodious jargons. The master puppeteer, then, would put down his cigar, crack his knuckles and weave, what you shamelessly spewed, into the next ‘stairway to heaven’. How you ask? You can google it, I suppose. You don’t have access to The Abbey Road studios because you are in Pakistan. What you do have the luxury of is Madlabs.
However, you won’t find Madlabs on google or the intricacies of the processes which take place within the four walled canvas of this studio.
It might not be the well sought after, meticulously selected analog & digital tools of creation that The Mad Monk has acquired after eons of research. It may not even be the voodoo that emits out of the guitars, pedals, amps and other instruments that the master lutheir has designed and crafted himself. Nor yet is it the knowledge, the technique, the skill, the gift, the talent or the experiences which he has accumulated in the past centuries & beyond which led him to the present, where he so humbly rests in the shadows, desiring no part of the grand machine that churns out sounds you have heard endlessly every waking hour, be it in your car’s radio, a fancy restaurant or in the form of a willingly chosen record, cd or an AI generated playlist on Spotify. Does his method comprise of a combination of long forgotten Analog mixing techniques intertwined with the creative interplay of digital plugins? Or is it the way he empowers you to transform the emotions, poured into your instruments of choice; aimless melodic scribbles, into what can be, by decent standards, qualified as Composition & Arrangement, which sadly are nonexistent in the world of today?
Nay. It is none of those things.
What it is, cannot be defined, quantified or fathomed. It is phenomenology & it causes synesthesia, that much is certain. Therefore, it can be identified to a certain extent ONLY when experienced.
It is David. It is Amadeus. It is Bach. It is Robert Johnson. It is The Beatles. It is Michael Jackson. It is The Mad Monk.
You can record music in your bedroom. You can do it in your home studio also. Perhaps you go the extra mile and record it with someone who also took a jab at another one of those forgettable Coke Studio seasons. Save up enough money and send it to some unknown in Canada or get your self funded Vinyl stamped by a YouTube ‘content creator’ producer with a million followers.