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     Volume 5 Issue 125 | December 22, 2006 |

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Paper Tales

Hana Shams Ahmed

The most commendable of Ektaar's endeavours ever since its birth four years ago is its consistent dedication in bringing to the forefront rare and undiscovered talent from all over the country. And keeping to its name of promoting Bangla folk culture through music, their latest release Moon's 'Paper' runs no short of talent and variety.

All the 10 songs in the album were written and composed by this multi-talented new kid on the block. It has not been an easy journey for Moon. At the album launching he talks about how he struggled through life before coming this far. “There was a time when I used to wander around the grounds of TSC and Nazrul's mazaar rendering my songs where Bogey bhai discovered me and helped me get organised,” says Moon, referring to the CEO and Managing Director of Ektaar Music, Feisal Siddiqi (Bogey).

It's this struggle and drifting through life that inspired the 'baul' inside this young artiste and with the help of a few good friends gave birth to his first solo album. The title song, which is already a hot favourite of the RJs for its fast-paced catchy tunes and heavy lyrics gives an analysis of his views on the contemporary newspapers of the country. One is left to conclude that he was affected by many of the negative stories printed in newspapers but at the same time he reveres the courage of the media to come out with the truth despite all odds.

Feisal Siddiqi (Bogey), the CEO and Managing Director of Ektaar Music speaking about Moon's first solo album.

'Bishwa Baul-er Ektaara' is a pure folk song, which reflects a very deep sense of loneliness. He compares the Creator as a baul and himself as the baul's instrument, the ektara. This is a very soulful number and is bound to touch the hearts of those in grief. 'Takar Gach' (The Money Tree) reflects the financial struggles of the artiste-- who admits he has a wild imaginations wonders how life would be like if it was possible to get married to a money tree. He explores the different ways in which all of life's problems could be solved if one had an abundant supply of money.

Another very popular number is 'Fatema', about how a young man desperately pursues his love interest. No matter how much the object of his interest and her father avoids her he does not believe in giving up. It's a very comical look at how young men in general take it up as a challenge to woo the love of their lives. The full impact of its amusing lyrics can only be felt when heard, so it's definitely something worth checking out. 'Moner Chashi' is purely a love song with very soulful music and lyrics to match it. Moon started working on the album in 2002 but in his words, his lack of organisation and procrastination led to the late release of the album. Feisal Siddiqi speaking at the launching of the album is hopeful that in his next album he will achieve much more all by himself.

Moon, performing his soulful folk numbers with brilliance.

Moon considers himself lucky to have been able to work with a set of very gifted musicians for his first album. For this album Prashant and Moon were on the lead guitar, Bogey, Moon and Leemon were on rhythm guitar, Bogey, Ashiquzzaman Tulu, Moon and Leemon were on bass guitar; Moon and Meiraj were on harmonica, Ashiquzzaman Tulu, Fuad Nasser Babu and Leemon on keyboards; Pantha Kanai, Ashiq, Shantanu and Shubho on drums; Milon Bhattacharya on the tablas, Pablo on the cello; Shubho, Shafiq and Jibon on percussions. The album was mixed and mastered at Art of Noise.

Most of the songs have a social message; problems with the Bangladeshi society seem to have deeply affected the artiste's outlook in life. The very down-to-earth lyrics combined with Moon's slightly nasal voice blends finely with the mood of the songs and add a unique touch to what can be labelled modern folk. The jacket cover could have done with a little more work which would have done the richness of the lyrics more justice, but overall the album is a praiseworthy effort that is surely going to be on people's lips for a long time to come.

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