Like it did for Ukraine, Palestine and Afghanistan, the drum & bass community has united once again to help those affected by floods in Pakistan.
It was this summer’s unforgiving heatwaves when the world was looking for some respite, and Pakistan, like every South Asian nation, hoped for the monsoons to come to their rescue. However, the resulting rainy season has brought Pakistan to a complete standstill after experiencing its worst-ever floods last month, leaving over 1700 dead and millions displaced.
The devastating floods left over 1/3rd of the country underwater, with an unfathomable figure of over 33 million people displaced. Diseases are rising by the day, and another 6 million people are starting at a severe food crisis due to the floods, while over 3 million children are facing chronic hunger. The country, which now faces severe food and fast-spreading diseases, needs help, and like the drum & bass community came together for Ukraine, Palestine, Afghanistan, and many more critical causes, it has joined hands once again to help the people of Pakistan.
Headed by DnB producer and label owner pyxis along with her Sri Lankan counterpart, IYRE, the ‘Floodlight: DnB Aid For Pakistan‘ compilation boasts 93 tracks featuring heavyweight names like London Elektricity, Etherwood, Dom & Roland, Digital, and Trace, to name a few. There is also strong Asian representation on the various artists album, with tunes coming from Crash Comet, EZ Riser, Radiax, OX7GEN, Prismer, UKato, and Smokey who have contributed to the cause. Lending pyxis and IYRE a hand in their efforts are major labels like Hospital Records, Soulvent Records, Dispatch Recordings, Overview Music, and many more.
All the proceeds from the compilation will go to charities like WDF (Women’s Democratic Front) Pakistan, PRCS (Pakistan Red Crescent), and the Islamic Relief Fund, who are working tirelessly on-ground to help the people in need.
The compilation is available on Bandcamp for just £10 with an option to pay what you like beyond the minimum amount for a cause which serves two purposes; you get some unmissable tunes from some of the biggest names in the game at a great price, while contributing to pyxis and IYRE’s efforts, and providing much-needed support to the people of Pakistan.
We caught up with both pyxis and IYRE to know their thoughts the compilation, and here’s what they had to say:
What was the compelling moment in your decision to raise money for the flood victims in Pakistan?
pyxis: I was away on holiday and my partner told me about the floods in Pakistan. I was in bed reading about it and I was absolutely distraught, spent the whole next day thinking about it and how horrific it was. The magnitude of it, the devastation of it… and how come I hadn’t heard about it or seen anyone posting about it?! I wanted to raise the awareness but more so some funds to help out so I reached out to IYRE and from then on, we worked tirelessly as a team to completion.
The compilation is also a testament to how the DnB scene comes forward to help in difficult times, isn’t it?
pyxis: Yes it really is! If there’s one that shines through in DnB it’s the unity of the community when people are suffering as they are in Pakistan for example, one thing we always find in varying degrees is people truly want to help, not only do we hold each other up as artists but we try to come together to hold up people less fortunate in other parts of the world or walks of life. Most notably for me, there are certain producers who repeatedly and exhaustively contribute to and support every cause going, I want to shout people like that and if you go around looking at these types of albums you’ll find them. But equally the dance music editorials that will back up and expose what we do. In this sense the scene is really beautiful.
What I will say is that Floodlight as a cause is very different from the other albums we’ve seen. Pakistan is a victim of a natural disaster – not war. But this is a direct hit of global warming. Something we are all responsible for. We aren’t all responsible for war. So in that respect we are all a part of the problem and my greatest fear is this is not the end. There isn’t a piece of dry land in Pakistan now. Even if it takes years to rebuild, it can repeat itself there and other parts of the world. As much as charity albums can become a thing for different causes, and it’s very important we do so, we must also remember that even if you don’t really like the music, donating without downloading is also possible, as it keeps our funds in one central place to donate. So you don’t have to be a dnb fan to buy Floodlight!
There is a massive South Asian representation on the album. What are your thoughts on the response it has received from the region and from the South Asian community in the UK?
IYRE: The response have been great from the region, we’ve been able to collate a few tracks across the spectrums of dance music. We have everything from progressive house, breaks, dubstep to drum and bass which is incredible. A bunch of prolific regional producers have contributed showcasing their support to the cause. Huge shouts to Noiyse project, Nigel Perera, EzRizer, Smokey, UKato and OX7GEN. Not to mention the support from non resident South Asian producers.
We’ve gone and brought back Nasha Records featuring 3 tunes with the likes of Ges E, Shandy and Osmani Soundz which is incredible. We also have tunes from Dushi who is half Sri Lankan, Janaka Selekta, again a Sri Lankan and Crash Comet, alongside Karmasynk who are stellar Indian producers respectively from the UK and USA. We also have Radiax all the way from China with a proper roller vibe. It’s incredible to think how drum and bass have claimed the global spotlight that it richly deserves..
That being said, I would love to see more engagement from the South Asian communities in the UK. There’s still so much that can, and needs to be done.
You have a tune called ‘Stories From Kalash Valley’ on the compilation. What was the inspiration behind naming this tune?
IYRE: The inspiration behind Stories From Kalash Valley was the soul purpose of spreading hope. I wanted the tune to be hopeful and uplifting. I also managed to add a few Pakistani elements here and there to provide a bit of context. After every rain, shines the sun, which is depicted by the sounds of the rain and thunder followed by the sounds of laughter by kids with joy. I also tapped in to my progressive rock influences having introduced distortion guitars and tremelo picking towards the second half of the song.
We’ve truly being blessed with some of the biggest names in the drum and bass scene, and we’re truly thankful for their efforts in this important cause..
So, whether you are closely or loosely associated with drum & bass, we urge you to buy the album and help our efforts in restoring what Pakistan has lost in the floods.
The biggest purveyors of bass music, UKF have supported the cause with a premiere of Radiax’s ‘Headway’ from the compilation.