Jazz drummer Tarun Balani set to release debut EP 2 degrees on March 13
Seasonal Affected Beats, the alter ego of jazz drummer Tarun Balani is ready with his solo project and debut EP 2 degrees that's set for launch on March 13.
Tarun, one of the finest jazz drummers in India, specialises in improvised electronic music, where he brings the finesse, controlled volatility and discipline of jazz and melds it with the malleability of electronic beats.
His new EP, 2 ° (2 degrees), is the musical outcome of his thoughts and experiences of living in a “dystopic, apocalyptic world” (read Delhi’s pollution levels) and the impending dangers of climate change. The name, 2 ° (2 degrees), in fact, comes from the Paris Agreement.
Imagined as a trans-media electronic project – that was launched in 2018 – Seasonal Affected Beats sees Tarun make music through the prism of his reality, formed by his experiences of the world around him. Themes like mental health, climate change, rapid urbanisation, socio-political issues and digital existentialism play on his mind, and find their way into his lush and tactile productions that pulsate with emotions.
“For me as an artiste, I truly became the narrative rather than seeking one. I simply had no choice as I felt compelled, and even responsible to depict this through my music and art,” says Balani. “The music of 2° (2 degrees) is composed like a suite, with each piece leading into the other and to be considered as separate movements within the suite,” he adds. The song Prelude – released as the first single off the EP on March 6 - introduces the listener to the sonic landscape of the EP, from spacey and minimal, to complex and disorderly.
Apart from the compositions and the production, the EP also marks Balani’s debut as a trumpeter and pianist on the title track 2°. “The theme song is written for Naima, my three-year-old niece, and I wanted this to be a tribute or gift for her. I want to be able to tell her that I was talking about important issues back in the day too and that I was thinking about her and our collective futures – even through our music and art,” he adds. The album also features a collaborative song Let The Light In with Kavya Trehan which talks about healing through pain and suffering.
Topical and pertinent, the track Dr Escher samples a passage of powerful words from the famous speech that Dr BR Ambedkar made in the Constituent Assembly, on 17 December 1946 -- “So far as the ultimate goal is concerned, I think none of us need have any apprehensions. None of us need have any doubt. Our difficulty is not about the ultimate future. Our difficulty is how to make the heterogeneous mass that we have today take a decision in common and march on the way which leads us to unity.”
“Prejudice in the form of racism, sexism and casteism continues to reside in our subconscious. It finds a place in popular discourse and unfortunately influences both words and actions that come from a position of privilege, entitlement and ignorance. These words, and the ideals they espouse, are timeless, especially in this time when we need to counter these biases and the threat they continue to pose to society,” Balani says.
2 ° (2 degrees) will be available on Apple Music on March 13.
Picture credits: Mohit Kapil