Boomkat Product Review:
With exquisite subtlety, Jatinder Singh Durhailay & David Edren musically limn the effect of various teas thru a mix of Indian classical music and new age electronics. It’s much finer steeped than TCF’s purely electronic tribute to tea, as issued with 15g of Shiu Xian by Ekster in 2014, and recalls to our ears traces of Ariel Kalma’s link-up with Sarah Davachi, as well as the pastoral sublime of Harmonia et al.
“Jatinder and David’s collaboration, Tea Notes, is a celebration, a meditation, on both the beverage, and the communal time shared imbibing. The coming together to partake in its ritual. Each of the six tracks represents a different infusion.
The opening piece is a tribute to semi-oxidised Oolong, from China`s Wuyi Mountains, with hammered dulcimer-like glissando. Gongs shimmering, gently crashing, as if signalling a change in the weather.
A calm of thin, stretched synths and Ai angels introduces Tulsi from India. The Holy Basil of Hinduism, used in the worship of Vishnu, Krishna, and Rama. A traditional herb of Ayurveda and Siddha medicine. Automated arpeggiated sequences raising a vibrating wall of hallucinatory sound. Pairing swooning strings with a racing robot heart.
Ceylon is a modern twist on the classical raga. Serving to tell the story of a tea smuggled into Sri Lanka in the 19th century. Plants stolen from South West China, where the brew had been enjoyed since the days of the Shang Dynasty (1766 to 1122 BC). The contraband founding fresh industry in its new home when the indigenous coffee crops failed.
Muted organ and sleepy, treated sine wave microtones describe Kava, the Polynesian fireweed root, whose extract serves as both sedative and euphoriant.
Shincha are the first young leaves of the season. Picked in Southern Japan and steamed to prevent oxidization, retain their flavour and green / gold colour. Their musical counterpart finds Edren establishing an ecclesiastical drone, while Durhailay`s strings chart an ancient romantic ache. Sonic stars shine. Singing out to the infinite, the universe, before dissolving into knots of Radiophonic Workshop noise.
Melodies treated with subtle sustain and delay denote Pu-Ehr, from the Yunnan province. The only truly fermented black tea - made distinctive by the action of bacteria, moulds, and yeasts. Its musical themes hovering in the vapour trails, the atmospheres, they themselves create. Spiralling, soaring, reaching for the heavens, while pretty music box glitches - tiny chimes turned in on themselves. Catching, reflecting, like light at play on fresh running water. (words: Robert Harris)”