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     Volume 5 Issue 112 | September 15, 2006 |

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Of Monsters and Mysticism

Elita Karim

Fusion music is the 'in' thing amongst musicians and music lovers. There is a distinct sound created with elements from the east and the west, a flavour of fusion music popular amongst listeners in our part of the world.

However, listening to the latest album, Danob by Cryptic Fate, would probably introduce the concept of fusing heavy metal, hard rock and traditional, eastern musical elements together. Not only does the band use instruments like a harmonium, dhol and tabla in the compositions, they also blend the harmony with power guitar strokes and raw vocals.

With Chowdhury Fazle Shakib (vocals, lyricist, bassist and producer), Farshed Mahmud (drummer), Sarfaraz Latifullah (guitarist) and Farhan Samad (guitarist and producer) and a total of eleven numbers, the G-series exclusive album, Danob, was released on September 2, 2006 at the Geetanjoli outlet of Basundhara City Complex. Cryptic Fate fans were eagerly awaiting the release and also a chance to get the taste of the band's unconventional work after a long time.

Taking over three years to work on this album, Cryptic Fate's third album, Danob, was definitely worth the wait. With unusual guitar work and a sense of modern day mysticism, the album has created waves in the underground scene. According to a musician from the underground music scene in Dhaka, Cryptic fate defines true melody. “I am a big fan of Farhan's work and I think that he has done wonders in this particular album,” he says.

Faysal Islam, the Managing Director of the popular music portal Amadergaan.com believes that Danob has definitely made a mark in the scene today. “The quality of music that the band has produced is probably one of the best productions that I have listened to in a long time,” he says.

Suharto, the guitarist of Arbovirus, who recently came up with the first album, says that something to be appreciated in this album is the quality of sound. Sound happens to be an element that all musicians are always concerned about, whether it is a live performance or a recorded album.

“Though the idea of sound output regarding live shows is absolutely different as compared to albums,” explains another young musician. “The resonance in an album is something that all musicians like to experiment with and show their versatility in. Danob clearly shows the hard work and experiments done by the members of Cryptic Fate and also their versatility in terms of producing the sound in the album.”

Shakib says that their original sound has been evolving constantly. “There are some elements that we consider to be integral to our sound which have been there in all albums,” he says. “We're evolving and growing even now.”

Despite the unconventional work done with sound and the instruments, Danob has simple and trouble-free lyrics appealing to different levels of music listeners. “I believe in writing in simple Bangla,” explains Shakib. “All the books I read are in simple languages so are all the songs that I listen to. Simplicity in language comes easily to me. That's why William Blake is my favourite poet. He wrote profound things in very simple verse.”

One cannot say if Shakib was inspired from Blake's sense of ironic glorification of people and society in his Songs of Innocence and his reality check in Songs of Experience, but Danob does have it's own share of expressions starting from blood- boiling anger to dejection in love.

Even though each number speaks of it's own story, the band thinks that Agnibina is probably one of their best works. “This is a huge song both in length and scope,” says Shakib. “It is completely a metal song in its entirety.” Danob, the title track is also a huge favourite amongst the members and also the listeners alike. “Making the song was a time-consuming and intricate process,” explains Farhan. “Out of all the songs, I personally spent a lot of time on this one and having done that, I have grown quite attached to it. I also feel that everyone involved in the creation of this song realised their full potential. From the bass line, drum work, lyrics to the vocals; everything feels just right. Plus, it would be a blast to play it live!”

The designs, colours, images created by Mrinal Kanty Das (Biplob) coinciding with the music created by the band shows their attachment to reality, straightforward attitude coupled with a philosophical way of looking at life. “Everything inspired us (in creating this album),” says Shakib. “Starting from movies, books, comics, sports to bands, both local and international.”

In an age where imaginary lands, mystical legends, monsters and fairy tales have been taken over by talking robots and vending machines, Danob is definitely worth listening to, especially for those who would still like to take a step back into their youth.

The Musical Knight

Syeda Shamin Mortada

I was surfing through the channels when suddenly a beautiful song, its heart-wrenching lyrics, the stunning music and the incredible voice left me spell bound, in a trance and completely entrapped.

“Tirish bochor” or 30 years, describes the plight our country is in today. It talks about how corruption and poverty have overshadowed us and how superficiality has managed to overpower our society. Throughout the song there is a constant reminder about what Independence has given us, what we could gain from it and what we could give back to our nation. The listener will undoubtedly feel the patriotism and certainly sense the satire! It simply makes your blood boil, with anger, sorrow and nationalism or maybe all of these three!

What's more, Hyder Husyn is the singer, the lyricist and composer of all his songs.

Hyder Husyn-Singer, lyricist and composer brings a new brand of music.

An aeronautical engineer by profession, he served in Biman Bangladesh Airlines for a long time. He comes from a family where music and poetry were food for the soul. He says that passion for Music just runs in his blood. His father and grandfather were good singers and both of them wrote poetry. Not exactly conservative, but they never believed in flaunting their talent in front of the public. Thus the rule was, sing but don't, attract an audience! Smilingly, he says he is probably the first man to have broken this rule.

Hyder Husyn is into business at the moment but writes songs whenever and wherever the mood suits him. It is ordinary people, their lives and emotions that inspire him whilst writing the bold, poignant songs, and he mainly writes from his experience and observation.

This talented singer is not only good with words and music but is a gifted guitarist and keyboard player as well.

Hyder Husyn has managed to attract loads of fans both from the country and abroad. But all the admiration and praise have failed to touch this very down-to-earth person.

Husyn has a wife and daughter and the song “Shari” was written keeping his wife in mind. After their marriage they got into a tiff about how she wore her sari and how he commented on her attire and looks. The song describes how the bride felt, the names she called him and what the groom said in return. It is indeed a wonderful song!!

According to Hyder Husyn, a man can be happy if he can strike a balance between what he wants and what he gets, in his words “Chawa ar Pawa”. But he believes that the people of today demand more than they deserve and want to get on top without much hard work. This leads to dishonesty, bribery, cheating etc. The song “Sharkari Officer” talks about these things.

The word modern according to him is something which is of recent times, and a person who can adapt to the current state may be called modern. But today it has a very different meaning. Modern means “Bahaya pona” according to him. Listen to “Shabdartha” (Word meaning) and everything will be crystal clear to you.

Another song which is different from the rest and contains a lot of humour is “Faisa Gechi” (Got Trapped). This simple and sweet man from Old Dhaka will make you whistle, tap your foot, snap your fingers and grin through this bubbly number.

When asked what message he would like to give to his fans, this God, fearing and extremely patriotic man just said “Be honest to yourself.” Hyder Husyn believes that every heart contains a book. He has named it - The book of conscience! And we should all strive to keep this book as clean as possible.


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