Pakistani movie ‘ARTH’ and UN Women join hands to highlight intimate partner violence.

The cast of “Arth – The Destination” Shaan Shahid, Humaima Malik, Uzma Hassan and Mohib Mirza collaborated with UN Women to run a campaign called ‘End Violence Against Women’ to speak on abuse, its various forms, and to end violence against women & girls. The movie itself raises multiple social issues that go unnoticed under the contemporary consciousness. This collaboration with UN Women has no agenda but to take the opportunity to spread awareness against the gender roles, domestic sexism and abuse. Shaan Shahid, the filmmaker and the lead role of the film, took a step ahead at bringing into attention, through his film, his promotional tours, interviews and discussions, the idea and incentive behind making his film “Arth – The Destination”. In the campaign, led by the collaborated teams, the multiple aspects of abuse come into the light.

Uzma Hassan, whose character in the film demonstrates emotional abuse, speaks on the respective subject, “When we speak of abuse, never does it occur to us if the concept could involve emotion, sentimentality of a person or his/her psyche. The mental image itself is that of a physical strike. But that’s not where it begins. Before it takes that form, a woman goes through psychological and emotional distress. That is what we need to speak of – that is where we need to begin our stories from.”

Adding into that, Humaima Malik explains, “and to speak of this aspect of abuse is no minor a subject as it has always been perceived. It’s about time that the victims start speaking up. Who better than a woman can take a stand for herself, her rights? This is what motivates us to lead this campaign.”

Mohib Mirza, one of the lead characters of the film, casts a bird’s eye-view on the subject, “We think that we have a right on other people’s lives. That’s how we have been brought up. We feel absolute freedom in imposing our judgment on others especially women. Such are the acts constituting and strengthening patriarchy in the society for a very long time now.  We see it but we don’t realize how poisonous it is.”

“Arth is not just a piece of art. It speaks on actual issues, highlights real facts and reflects struggles that artists go through in their lives. In comparison, a male artist does not face as many hurdles as female artists do. The added patriarchy, apart from the rest of the career struggles, always gets in their way. It is not just unfair to the artists but also to the entire womanhood,” spoke Shaan Shahid on the subject.

The cast went on to explain the gravity of the matter by demonstrating their roles in the film that are reflective of their actual lives – the reason behind keeping their original names in the film.

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‘Murshed Ji’ by Sahir Ali Bagga & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Launching one of the biggest songs from the Pakistani movie Arth 2 – Arth The Destination “Murshed Ji”.

This song composed by Sahar Ali Bagga is backed by the powerful vocals of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sahar Ali Bagga captures the plight of love, passion and music.

“Murshed Ji” from upcoming the Pakistani movie Arth 2 – ‘Arth The Destination’ starring  Shaan Shahid, Humaima Malik, Mohib Mirza & Uzma Hassan.

My view on “Murshed Ji” is that its the best Pakistani song of 2017.

 

“A REEL ON KARACHI” COFFEE TABLE BOOK LAUNCHED BY PAKISTAN CABLES.

Pakistan Cables Limited announced the launch of a coffee table book, “A Reel On Karachi – Art Installations in the City” at the Alliance Française de Karachi in an event which was widely attended by members of the business, art, media and social communities. This coffee table book contains contributions of fifty seven (57) artists installed at over twenty public spaces featured in the book compiled to mark completion of project Reel on Hai, a public outreach initiative of the Karachi Biennale Trust.

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In 2016, Pakistan Cables signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Karachi Biennale Trust (KBT) to be the main activity partner for project, ‘Reel on Hai’, a public outreach initiative of KBT. Fifty seven artists, local and international, transformed cable reels into works of art which have been installed at public spaces that include schools, hospital, parks, heritage sites across Karachi.

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“Depicting the project’s illustrated story, this book is a testament to efforts that have brought ‘Reel On Hai’ to life and allowed for the transformation of cable reels into public works of art. I hope that readers will enjoy it as much as I did while supporting the project as main activity partner alongside Karachi Biennale Trust (KBT),” stated Mr. Kamal A. Chinoy Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Cables Limited.

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The launch event included a stimulating panel discussion hosted by renowned Karachi based actor, Mr. Sajid Hasan who engaged with the panellists recollecting Karachi’s evolving history and the impact of “Reel on Hai” to the city’s landscape. Panellists included Ms. Marjorie Hussain (Art Critic), Mr. Arif Hasan (Urban Planner and Activist), Mr. Mohsin Sayeed (Public Outreach Committee & Journalist) & Ms. Masuma Khawaja Halai (Chair, Public Outreach Committee).

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“This book captures the story behind the project and takes its readers on a journey through Karachi brilliantly!”, stated Ms. Halai.

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The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr. Fahd K. Chinoy, Executive Director, Pakistan Cables Limited who commended the Karachi Biennale Trust for setting up an exemplary partnership based on a shared purpose of honouring community trust and of giving back beauty to Karachi.

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Atif Aslam – singing Indian classics of 70’s & 80’s.

Atif Aslam’s concert at College of Business Management CBM (also known as Institute of Business Management IoBM) was one of the concert that I had been to and here Atif Aslam is at his best singing some very old Indian classics of 70’s and 80’s era.

01) ‘kia howa, tera waada’ –  was the first song the medley and this song had a truly amazing feel to it and in Atif’s crisp vocals felt even better than the original one.

02) second song the of the medley also went well the flow previous song and felt good.

03) ‘kabhi kabhi’ – cant explain the response that was given by the crowd and that includes almost everyone in the crowd from students, parents, teachers, security guards  and musicians almost everyone was humming along with Atif Aslam.

 

This performance by Atif Aslam is one the best I have seen live and I have serious doubt that I will see a singer with better voice.

‘STRINGS’ mesmerized once again with an excellent performance.

Salts Arts has succeeded in reviving the concert culture here in Karachi by collaborating with legendary pop-rock band “Strings”. Although Salt Arts had previously collaborated with lesser known acts and had successfully pulled-off concerts of much smaller scale, but arranging something as big as this one, deserves to be praised, as almost everything was spot-on starting from venue itself ‘lawns of Beach Luxury Hotel’ which was a brilliant choice with its sea-front coupled with light December breeze created a very romantic ambiance, followed by ample parking with proper guidance, excellent security arrangements (no mishaps were seen or reported), food court with delicious and fresh cooked food, sound arrangements, time management (as we were home by mid-night), crowd handling, crowd itself was very well behaved and all that topped-up with excellent and flawless performance by legendary pop-rock band of Pakistan “Strings”.

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Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia.

Due to some reasons mentioned above, this concert will be remembered for a long long time and more reasons would be that Strings is performing after quite some time as they were extremely busy with their Coke Studio project, second reason was 30th anniversary of Strings itself, which elevates their status to legendary level and they are the only band to have survived that long.

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Crowd thoroughly enjoying live performance by ‘Strings’.  

Two hours of live music by Strings reminded of the time when Junoon use to rule the roost with their two hours and at times three hours of live music. But for someone like me even a two hour’s performance by Strings wasn’t enough and I felt like carving for more. Current line-up of Strings which features Adeel Ali on lead guitarist (who also happens to be the oldest member after Bilal & Faisal), Bradley D’Souza on Bass Guitars, Haider Ali on keyboards and Ahad Nayani on drums gelled well and gave a notion that they had rehearsed well.

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Seems like a full house.  

Faisal Kapadia as usual was very energetic, enthusiastic with his solid vocal tone all through the concert was a treat for ears, mind and soul.  Faisal Kapadia and profusely thanked the crowd that had come to see Strings performing. Bilal Maqsood with his soothing and soft vocals was on the mellow side and he looked a lot more matured as compared to Faisal Kapadia or other members but his melodious side of too much to handle with light December breeze and Sea on your left side.

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First song of the night was ‘koi aanay wala hay’, which was a decent start and felt more a like a warm-up session, followed by ‘na janay kyun’ which had a Spider-Man effect to it, ‘kahani mohabbat ki’ was next, then ‘chaiay chaiay’ and ‘jab sae tum ko mai nay dekha’, is one of their oldest song which I use to hate but now due to its nostalgic I started liking it.

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Without any doubt best song of the night was ‘sar kiay ye pahar’ and this song is only reason why I love Strings so much, it has a nostalgic feel to it and bring back memories of my school time. Strings sang ‘sar kiay ye pahar’ to perfection, not a single error, its seems as they have been rehearsing this song a lot. Next song by Bilal Maqsood was ‘mera bichar yaar’, mellowed things down and then ‘durr’ energized the once again and Faisal Kapadia showed the awesome power of his vocals.

Next in-line was guest singer Momina Mustehsan who came in to present ‘muntazir’ from Coke Studio. Momina Mustehsan failed to impress with her live performance and proved to just another pretty face with not much singing talent, whereas Faisal Kapadia was best among the three vocalist and Bilal Maqsood’s vocals was soothing enough but didn’t fit well with sound of this song.

After a fiery performance by Strings and Momina Mustehsan, ‘mai to dekhoon ga’ soften the mood once again only to be boosted once again by excellent and thrilling drum performance by each and every member of Strings. This drum was very unique had many different instruments.

As far as I remember ‘so ja’ from their first album was first ever song by Strings that I heard or had seen on Music Channel Charts and ‘so ja’ kept the crowd going, ‘soniay’ which had female back-up vocals and to fill this gap Faisal Kapadia requested female members in the crowd who would be willing share the stage with Strings and four young and energetic ladies showed up and sang ‘soniay’ with Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood. ‘Dhaani’ went in with the flow of the concert and last song of the night was the world cup song of 2003 ‘hay koi ham jaisa’. Pakistan was one of the hot favourite to lift the cricket world cup of 2003, but what happened there shouldn’t be remembered. Last was as an energetic and the performances was as power-packed as first one.

Overall it was an excellent effort by Salt Arts and Strings for putting up such an excellent show for very entertainment starved population of Karachi.

 

BRIDAL COUTURE WEEK 2017 – DAY THREE

HUM Network Limited concluded its bi-annual Pantene HUM Bridal Couture Week (PHBCW) on the high notes of magnetism, brilliance and quality fashion to contribute towards the rising of Pakistan Fashion Industry. Day three was a prominent affair of bringing high end celebrities to the ramp as the showstoppers. A night of shebang glamour and recognition of the country’s top and growing designers on an International scale of commercial appeal.

Show one of the concluding day three of PHBCW started with Zonia Anwaar’s Raze Zibaei – Secret of Beauty, an interpretation of a girl’s strength in individuality and charm on the most special day of her life, followed by Umsha by Uzma Babar’s new bridal collection, Khwahish. Ahsan’s Menswear was next to present his collection Tabeer 2018, on the runway. Show one of the concluding day ended on a high note with Across the Globe collection by designer duo Asifa & Nabeel. Their collection offered versatile silhouettes, chattering embroideries and mellowed colours.

show one - Zonia Anwaar (3)show one - Ahsan's Menswear (6)show one - Asifa and Nabeel (1)show one - Umsha By Uzma Babar (6)

Show two of PHBCW day 3 started with the designer duo Nickie Nina’s Adeena Generation IV, which was followed by a special segment “Strong is Beautiful” featuring Maheen Ghani Taseer’s An-Nism…a String of Pearls collection. Munib Nawaz was next to present his collection Ghalib 2017 on the catwalk.

show two - Maheen Taseer (6)show two - Munib Nawaz (6)show two - Nikie Nina (6)

The three-day bridal extravaganza concluded on a high note with the designer extraordinaire Ali Xeeshan’s Denial. His way of expressing concerns about current social and political scenarios was deeply rooted in his brilliant showcase, PHBCW’s finale seemed like an epic act of truth and dare.

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The concluding day of PHBCW brought high-end celebrities to the runway as showstoppers; the gorgeous singing sensation Qurat-ul-Ain Baloch show-stopped for Zonia Anwaar, while the multi-talented Saba Qamar added grandeur to Umsha by Uzma Babar’s collection. The delightful Kubra Khan show-stopped for designer duo Asifa & Nabeel, while Soch the Band performed for the brand. The charming Hareem Farooq, Usman Mukhtar and the witty Ali Rehman walked for Nickie Nina. Stunning Ushna Shah added allure to Maheen Ghani Taseer’s collection, whereas Ali Noor walked for Munib Nawaz.

 

Pantene HUM Bridal Couture Week 2017 was choreographed by Vaneeza Ahmed Ali, with backstage management by Muneera & Aamir of Production 021. Make up and styling was by N-Pro and N-Gents. All public relations operations and media liaison was carried out by the in-house PR team of HUM Network Limited along with show production and execution by the special projects and events team at HUM Network Limited. Jewellery partner for PHBCW was Hamna Aamir.

BRIDAL COUTURE WEEK 2017 – DAY TWO

Day two of the country’s largest bridal extravaganza Pantene HumTV’s Bridal Couture Week (PHBCW) was the continuation of the glamour and ethnic bridal collections, which were samples of excellence. HUM Network Limited pulled off day two of 15th edition of Pantene HUM Bridal Couture Week with most of the country’s acclaimed couturiers, bridal wear designers and retail brands, promoting the finer art of classic couture. With celebrities in full attendance masquerading the red carpet and runway, an affair of wedding wears for Pakistan, Day – two was with the detailing of motifs on the catwalk.

Show one of the second day of Pantene HumTV’s Bridal Couture Week started with the heavily crafted bridal/formal collection of Amina Yasmeen by Mansoor Akram, followed by Aneesa Kiani’s Raa-e-Ishq: 3 Stages of Love, in a special segment Strong is Beautiful. Her collection was inspired by The Kiani Crown which was the traditional coronation crown embellished with Iranian crown jewels.

Day one - Amina Yasmeen By Mansoor Akram (5)

Day one - Aneesa Kiyani (6)

Retail brand Edenrobe presented their collection True Inspiration on the runway which was followed by Crystalline by Aisha Farid. Show one of second day of PHBCW concluded with Erum Khan’s Sahiba Bridal Collection Winter’17, representing the aura of a woman who is an amalgam of delicacy and flattering strength.

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Show two of PHBCW day two started with Chinyere’s Thumri, which was followed by Demesne Couture’s Escape de Vivre 2017. Retail brand Royal Tag was next to present their collection Modern Man on the Catwalk. Day two of the three-day bridal extravaganza concluded with Lajwanti’s Sultana, a collection inspired by the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire.

Day two - Chinyere (5)Day two - Demesne Couture (6)Day two - Lajwanti (5)Day two - Royal Tag (6)

Day two of PHBCW also had a star-studded line-up; the gorgeous Uzma Khan and singing sensation Asim Azhar opened the show for Amina Yasmeen by Mansoor Akram, while the talented Ahsan Khan who is set to woo everyone with his incredible performance in the upcoming comedy thriller Chupan Chupai, walked the ramp for Edenrobe. The rising stars Iqra Aziz, Yumna Zaidi, Zara Noor Abbas, Asad Siddiqui, Sami Khan and Affan Waheed show-stopped for Aisha Farid. The charming Minal Khan show-stopped for Erum Khan, whereas the stunning Aiman Khan added allure to Chinyere’s collection. Nimra Khan graced the runway for Demesne and the couture king Hasan Sheheryar Yasin show-stopped for Royal Tag. Last but not least, the gorgeous and uber talented Mawra Hocane concluded the day for Lajwanti.

 

Pantene HUM Bridal Couture Week 2017 is choreographed by Vaneeza Ahmed Ali, with backstage management by Muneera & Aamir of Production 021. Make up and styling is by N-Pro and N-Gents. All public relations operations and media liaison is carried out by the in-house PR team of HUM Network Limited along with show production and execution by the special projects and events team at HUM Network Limited. Jewellery partner for PHBCW is Hamna Aamir.

BRIDAL COUTURE WEEK 2017 – DAY ONE

Pakistan fashion industry is emerging with the speed of light and the country’s numero uno general entertainment network, HUM Network Limited has been playing an important role in pushing fashion forward in Pakistan. HUM Network presented the 15th edition of Pantene Bridal Couture Week, providing a platform for bringing the established and emerging couture designers of the country by rolling out the glamorous red carpet and runway.  The country’s biggest and most sought after three-day bridal fashion extravaganza, Pantene HUM Bridal Couture Week 2017 commenced here in the Mughal City of Gardens on December 8, 2017, presenting the latest and the best of Pakistani bridal trends by leading and burgeoning fashion designers on the catwalk. This year, the bridal extravaganza is styled by the renowned stylist Nabila and is choreographed by former super-model herself Vaneeza Ahmed Ali.

Day one of Bridal Couture Week 2017 presented by HUM Network sponsored by Pantene had two shows, and show-one of day-one kicked off with the classic collection of Fahad Hussayn’s ARTH Novelty Couture 17/18, followed by Mifrah’s collection inspired by the rich traditions, essence, cultures and heritage. Humayun Alamgir was the third to present his collection Poshak on the runway which was followed by Je Suis Belle by Reema Ahsan. Show one concluded with Aisha Imran’s Jahan Ara.

show 01 - Aisha Imran (1)show 01 - Fahad hussayn (3)show 01 - Humayun Alamgir (6)show 01 - Mifrah (3)show 01 - Reema Ahsan (2)

Show two commenced with Faris by Ziggi Menswear, which was followed by MNR Design Studio’s collection titled Gulab Sandesh. Designer duo Deepak N Fahad were next to present their collection Shahtaabi on the Catwalk.

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Day-one of three-day bridal extravaganza concluded with a bang in a special segment Classic 15, where the country’s top 15 couturiers presented a specially designed outfit each, including HSY, Karma, Elan, Saniya Maskatiya, House of Amir Adnan, Nida Azwer, Rana Noman, The House of Kamiar Rokni, Mahgul, Shamsha Hashwani, Nilofer Shahid, Farah Talib Aziz, Mehdi, Republic by Omar Farooq and Honey Waqar.

PHBCW, famous for adding allure to the runway with an illustrious list of showstoppers, had a star-studded line-up and power-packed performances on the first day; film star Shaan Shahid, Uzma Hassan and Mohib Mirza opened the show for Fahad Hussayn while Bilal Abbas walked the ramp for Humayun Alamgir with a special performance by Wali Hamid Khan. The charming Ahmed Ali and Mahen ur Hader show-stopped for Aisha Imran, whereas the stunning Sajal Aly and Aima Baig added allure to MNR’s collection. Dance maestro Wahab Shah added an extra flavour to the bridal drama with his impeccable Pantene segment performance, where the singing sensation Zoe Viccaji raised the entertainment quotient of the show with her upbeat performance. Last but not the least, the rising singer and actor Haroon Shahid performed in the Classic 15 segment.

Zoe viccaji Performance (5)

Pantene HUM Bridal Couture Week 2017 is choreographed by Vaneeza Ahmed Ali, with backstage management by Muneera & Aamir of Production 021. Make up and styling is by N-Pro and N-Gents. All public relations operations and media liaison is carried out by the in-house PR team of HUM Network Limited along with show production and execution by the special projects and events team at HUM Network Limited. Jewellery partner for PHBCW is Hamna Aamir.

Cristiano Ronaldo retains “Ballon d’Or” for fifth time.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has capped off another memorable year by winning the Ballon d’Or for a fifth time, equalling the all-time record of Lionel Messi.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or for a fifth time, equalling the all-time record of Lionel Messi. The Real Madrid forward collected 946 points, with Messi (670) second and Neymar (361) third.

top players for Ballon d'Or in 2017 - Table 1

The signature Golden Ball (Ballon d’Or in French) is still regarded as the highest individual honour up for grabs in football.

The award caps another memorable year for Ronaldo. He won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish La-Liga, Spanish Super Cup and could yet end up with the FIFA World Club Cup – Madrid begin their defence in one week.

The 32 year-old also helped European champions Portugal book a FIFA World Cup spot, his tally of 15 goals bettered only once in European Qualifiers. He has already collected the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and Best FIFA Men’s Player prize this season.

Ronaldo in 2017 - Table 2

“I feel very happy, it’s a fantastic moment in my career,” said Ronaldo. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. This year has been great. Trophies help win these awards and we have to thank my colleagues from Madrid and Portugal, it was very important for me. I hope to play at this level for a few more years. I hope the battle with Messi continues; things happen for a reason.”

Ronaldo previously won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, finishing second to Messi in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015; the Argentinian was runner-up in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

last ten Ballon d'Or Awards - Table 3

60 Years of ‘Goethe-Institute’ in Pakistan.

For 60 years the Goethe-Institute has been engaging with arts and culture developments in Pakistan, and has innovated many contributions to these developments via increased cultural exchange between Pakistan and Germany.

On the weekend of December 16th and 17th, Goethe-Institute is celebrating its 60th anniversary in Pakistan with a line-up of artists who represent the most exciting contemporary modes of art making. The line-up also includes projects that have been conceived as a result of critical engagement between Pakistani and German artists facilitated by unique opportunities in both countries, geared towards linking the two art scenes across continents. These opportunities and collaborations have culminated in truly global sensibilities and narratives, as manifested not only in the format of the works created, but also through the interaction of distinct cultural contexts and histories. Two such projects represented include participants from Karachi Files (2015), and the Border Movement Residency.

The works featured over this special weekend explore a range of themes, all relevant in different ways to contemporary life. Some of the themes include personal lived experiences, odes to untold and/or forgotten histories, questioning of higher orders, explorations of the self in literary dystopias, and innovative, perhaps even quirky, sound making possibilities. The works take shape in a variety of installations and experiences; including light and sound installations, immersive performances, screenings, music, visual exhibits, and more.

As a centrepiece we will present “Being Faust – Enter Mephisto”, an interactive physical game enriched with online and social media elements developed by South Korean gaming outfit NOLGONG and Goethe-Institute Korea. The game is based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s best known drama “Faust” and asks the eternal questions: What do I value in life?, What are my personal values based on?, Which price am I willing to pay for success? Registration for one of the four rounds required.

Exhibits and installations will be open for viewing all day long, while the performances will be scheduled throughout two days dated December 16th to December 17th and list of exhibitions, installations and performances are;

  1. “Being Faust, enter Mephisto”
  2. “Organism Response” – sound and video installation by David Olbrich.
  3. Concert featuring DJ Ipek.
  4. “Memorial to Lost Words” – sound installation by Bani Abidi.
  5. “Noctiluscent” – LED installation by Wolfgang Spahn.
  6. Birds of Karachi” – a photo series by Pablo Lauf.
  7. “C(H)ORD – II” – immersive sound installation & performance by Zeerak Ahmed in collaboration with artist Danial Hyatt.
  8. “I would always dream of my House” – an audio walk on displacement by Shahana Rajani and Sonya Schõnberger.
  9. Presentation of “video-clips on 60 years of Goethe Institute in Pakistan”.
  10. “Calligraffiti” by Schrift Zug and Hamza Abu Ayyash.
  11. Short film screenings “Short Export” and “Emerging Artists”.
  12. “SoundLounge with Pakistan” featuring Alien Panda Jury, Natasha Humera Ejaz, Tollcrane, Slopin, Pablo Lauf and DJ Ipek.