If Faust sprouted from Afghanistan instead of Germany, then you’d have Naujawanan Baidar’s Khedmat Be Khalq.
Lead by N.R. Safi (AKA Nik Rayne of The Myrrors), Naujawanan Baidar started off as an idea of what it would sound like if a movement similar to the German kosmische musik scene took off in 70’s Afghanistan. A movement that would have rejected the sounds of the west and his ancestral home’s own past in favor of creating something entirely new. The resulting project based upon that intriguing notion turned out to be utterly spellbinding.
With slamming hypnotic rhythms, fiercely humanitarian lyrics and a chopped up collage of traditional Afghani instruments that are over-amplified and distorted almost beyond recognition, this is indeed a heavy trip.
Much like the more political side of the kosmische movement, these songs focus on an idealogical and physical fight against the oppressive forces of fascism, crooked religious fundamentalism and militarism within Afghanistan. This is revolutionary music for the people, by the people.
Musically, you’ll find blaring Afghani folk sounds charging at you in a thunderous stampede, while shouting overdriven vocals rain down like flaming arrows. Meanwhile, a sweltering atmosphere permeates throughout every track, giving the entire record a hazy fever dream-like quality.
Songs like “Koh Har Qadar Boland Bashad Baaz Ham Sar-e Khod Rah Darad,” are reminiscent of the frenzy that is Amon Düül’s Psychedelic Underground album, while other tunes, such as the title track, are more like addictive rally cries. Safi has tapped into the very spirit of not only the wrongfully persecuted people of Afghanistan, but all those who’re facing tyrannical leaders and governments everywhere. He has channelled their anger, their fears and their hopes into this music, and turns them into a sound that ignites a rebellious fire inside your heart. Here’s hoping America will have plenty of music with this same spirit to turn to as we get closer and closer to losing democracy as we know it.
If Vibracathedral Orchestra, No-Neck Blues Band and the acid commune jams of groups like Amon Düül (I) and Pärson Sound are your passion, then you absolutely need Khedmat Be Khalq in your life. Click here to get a copy on cassette before they run out (again!).