“I’ve never really craved you the way that you crave me”
Aurat (OH-RUT), meaning “Women” in Urdu, hails from Los Angeles, CA. Aurat, comprised of the core duo Azeka and Gil, embraces the Urdu language with lyrics of its native language and nontraditional sounds, injected into a predominantly European musical subculture. The group features lead vocalist, Azeka, a Pakistani-American, Gil on (production/bass), Victor (drums), Dolo (guitar), and Jose (guitar). Taking cues from the sounds of darkwave, postpunk, new wave, Aurat are truly unique to the LA scene. Although the band is inspired by classic electronic music, post-punk, industrial, and just about any ‘wave’ related genre you can cite, the sounds are living personalities.
Azeka and Gil are a force to be reckoned with in their new EP Khaar, as it seduces rhythmic violence, nuclear decadence, and romantic agony in a fall from grace. With an emphasis on inclusivity and challenging social norms, Aurat’s dark, infectious rhythms, paired with Azeka’s haunting and powerful voice, create an atmosphere in which the creatures of the night can frolic to their heart’s content.
“We were so used to seeing the ‘norm’ and decided to break down cultural and emotional barriers,” says the band. With lyrics sung in Urdu, vocalist Azeka’s first language, they explain the band name is not an aesthetic, but a form of representation.
Meticulously produced, mixed, and mastered by Gil Talbot, Kharr packs a wallop. The songs ascend with hypnotic grace and descend into symphonic corrosions. The determination to rid oneself of the sorrow and pain imposed by the world’s ruthlessness is imprisoned in every track, via the unbreakable intimacy of two lovers.
The album explodes into the industrial-tinged Can You Hear Me, a track taken from the chanting chorus playbook of Cabaret Voltaire and Chris & Cosey. It takes a dive into your mind, the lyrics representing a longing for space. MVTANT INSTAGRAM’s remix of Can You Hear Me, which immediately follows, gets your heart pumping.Waqt/Saach, meaning time/truth, evokes the underlying theme of facing the truth when everything is crashing around you. Its high speed, mind melting tempo is peppered with yelps, shrieks, laser effects, and Azeka’s fiery, Siouxsie-esque vocals. Sharminda, meaning shame, zips back into nightmare territory, an echoing call and response track with a screaming synth motif swirling over a wild lamentation. The song represents a battle between two companions and the realization that our egos may get the best of us. Punish, a Kraftwerkian motorik number, opens with distorted mechanical voices interrupted by a ghostly banshee call. The song deals with calling out and facing our fears. 333 returns to Cabaret Voltaire energy, a driving beat with suggestions wailed from the ether. The song title of triple 3’s is considered an “angel number,” illustrating a picture to take the right path. The lyrics “don’t forsake or use me” urge you to take control of your destiny. Takleef, the closing track, is a spacey, psychedelic outro of static, laser screeches and intense atmosphere.
“Aurat creates an experience that is equally open to anyone. It is a platform that allows individuals to vibe with the music even if they don’t understand the language.”
Aurat released a self-titled EP in 2017 and have since followed up with three full-length releases: Sirens and Image, both in 2018, and their latest LP Zeher (“poison”) in April 2020.