Global .Wav | Kabul Curtains

Afghanistan, 2007?

This incredible song, whose title remains mysterious, by the duo of Feroz & Naznin, allows the viewer to look into a demonized country’s entertainment. Afghani music remains largely unexplored by outsiders, and to a certain extent, is seen as existing in a medieval vacuum of classicist, folkloric genres. This video, and many others, challenge that cliched notion. The use of auto-tune for vocals, which although rampant across the globe, is refreshing in this unusual instance. Afghanistan lies between two ancient giants of musical influence—Iran to the west and India to the south— both influences are clearly audible in this song. The use of programmed, keyboard beats is remarkably fresh to the jaded ear, reflecting the enigmatic blend of Iranian and Indian rhythms.

But let’s not overlook the curtains, the fake plants, the color palette of maroon and sea foam green. The fact that everything is lip-synched, badly, and that the male singer is as stiff as a board—his clapping gesture is so minute, I wonder if it makes a sound! The dancing girls, their formation and serious moves, their long, whipped hair. This video is a treasure trove of gestures, moves, looks and interior design. A window into the real Afghanistan, beyond the constant media flow of burkas and Taliban.

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