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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Budget Cuts: what, why, how, where and when?

So Budget Cuts is finally out folks. It hath beenth born on Patari, and shall be tended to by their felines until it can get it’s own apartment, probably on Bandcamp. (on a side note, perhaps we should let Patari know their reliance on cats is borderline obsessive? Nah…)

[Such magnificent artwork. Because it’s by…us. Well, it is.]

We’re very proud of it. Not least because, for the past few years, life hasn’t been particularly easy for us, and our music reflects our state of mind. There were these moments when we presumed we had lost our sense of celebration, and would just be stuck in these gloomy, lamenting and inevitably stale passages of harmony. So it came as a relief, and a reset.

As the album title suggests, the theme is about letting loose, and enjoying life without excess stress baggage. Budget is not just finances, but also time (which is unarguably the most important currency). In short, it came out of desire to stop worrying and basing one’s existence on what may come, and doing anything else for a change.

We’ve realized that our past discography may as well be an autobiography. Our last few albums were a bit too personal and stress-related; the weariness of struggling with fate in “The Last Strands of Fortitude”, the longing of an elusive love in “Proxy Nights, Misty Lights” & the culmination of guilt in “Consortium”. Naturally, Budget Cuts is a rebound (one can only be that much emo) back to normality, a considerably chill setting.

[Ferocious glares ongoing]

Disclaimer: Don’t get us wrong, all 3 of the aforementioned releases were/are big stepping stones for 6LA8! We learnt a lot during that time, figured out our strengths, improved our compositional skills, and used the produce to help us through difficult times. It’s just that they remind us of a less enjoyable period (like when bae breaks ur heart and ur favourite couple songs make u intolerable to others).


1.     Just Yesterday’s Obituaries
2.     Dealings at Dhabbey’s
3.     Empty Flies, Hungry Stomachs
4.     Sardard, Sardard, Sardard
5.     Tanweem in April (with Ramsha)
6.     Retrograding v2.0 (with Sarim)
7.     The Cool White Cat & Her Gaslighting…
8.     Without A Paddle (with Rija)
9.     An Eventide Pare

10.  The Tabla Delusion
11.  Absent Inflections (with Asfandyar Khan & Peppermint Sky)
12.  They Found & Lost (with Sleep Slumber Sleep)
13.  Stock Exchange Woes
14.  Exhibitus
15.  I Think I Found Myself (with Sleep Slumber Sleep)
16.  On A Grand Jazeera
17.  Budget Cuts (with spirare)
18.  2 Giant Swaying Coconut Trees

Budget Cuts was conceived almost entirely (sans collaborations) in Karachi University (…in Karachi, Pakistan). As per it's name, our budget was stripped down and we used up only a couple of guitars and loads of royalty free percusion samples.

[Glorious roof, have to say. Image stolen from Zainab Marvi]

It made sense; we were reaching out and looking for external influences (after gruelling introspection) and nothing better describes living in the now as university students. Samples were collected from loud tubelights, failing to start cars, canteen ambience, meowing cats, and jhoola percussions.

As an unconscious result, Budget Cut’s themes revolve around a more uplifting, socially present life. The track titles mix English-Urdu in an indifferent, common use, and there is no aura of indie obscurity pride (I think). It’s just current music.

It begins with a mock funeral to solemnly lay past the toils and troubles endured (Just Yesterday’s Obituaries) before kicking in high gear.

Side A (old fashioned = cool) revels in the liming nature of post high school life, those moments of hanging out and bunking classes (Dealing at Dhabbeys, Empty flies), of menacing underhanded social politics (Sardard), of gender attractions and flirtations (Retrograding, Cool White Cat) and eventual heartbreaks (Without A Paddle), and the fuzzy nostalgic feeling of just spending a weekend with close friends and relaxing (Tanweem in April, An Eventide Pare).

Side B continues the trend, but is more romantic and less contextual. While it has a similar trend, it is at times more daunting and treads on moodier grounds (They Found & Lost, Stock Exchange Woes), and likewise also opens up more allures (Tabla Delusion, Absent Inflections), cheesiness (Grand Jazeera) and absurdity (I Think I Found Myself).

The album ends with self-aware, self-commentary on the whole audal trip with titular Budget Cuts, followed by 2 Giant Swaying Coconut Trees, which was literally the view in front of us (we used to compose in a KU hostel at 2am, outside in the garden area).

[Our sitting point. We are actually just beat up guitars]

Of course, we could not have completed this album as is without the numerous, beautiful artists that have collaborated with us. It’s crazy to think how many musicians were willing to join us on our journey, and each had their invaluable grasp of music embellished in our gene pool. Asfandyar’s blissful ambience, spirare’s pondering minimality, srira_m’s varied talents, Rija’s delirium, Peppermint Sky’s soulful tenor and Ramsha’s heart wrenching drone. Sleep Slumber Sleep especially challenged our music making notions and provided a completely different template to experiment on, which resulted in two different tracks, with respective dominations. (It must be said that Oh,Rocket is also collaborating with us, but due to time constraints the particular track could not be finished. HOWEVER, the music is still in works and will be introduced later on for sure!)

[the scaffolding of our lo-fi little building]

And what better an opening ceremony than to have an exclusive release on Patari, a highly extensive, indiscriminate platform for local musicians, which is frankly about decades ahead of our PST time.

[some cat people caught during one of their chants. In all their instragrammed glory]
For all the reasons mentioned above, somehow with Budget Cuts we have no reservations about gong in complete details our thought processes and in track descriptions (which we have written!). The external factors that culminated have made our present release much more socially responsive, and a group project of sorts, and there is no holding back on modesty here!

So thanks for reading, go have a listen at the link below, and hopefully you can participate in our little epitome!

Link to album:

The album will be released on Bandcamp as well, and we shall update the blog then!

For now…Laters.

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