Jatinder Singh Durhailay and David Edren released Tea Notes as a cassette back in April of 2018. London-based Jatinder Singh Durhailay is a painter and student of Indian Classical music. He has trained in both Dilruba/Taus and the Hindi singing technique, Dhrupad. Poetic Pastel Press issued his solo debut, The Last Ballad Of Mardana, in 2017. David Edren`s expertise lies with machines and modular synthesis. His Kosmische and New Age-Inspired electronics have featured on numerous cassettes, and compilations, produced for imprints from the current Belgian underground, such as Jj Funhouse, Social Harmony, and Ultra Eczema. These recordings appearing, since the turn of the millennium, either under his own name, or the moniker DSR Lines.
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 signaling 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. Spiraling, 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.