Hear Tarun Balani’s Cohesive New Seasonal Affected Beats EP ‘2°’
The New Delhi producer-drummer has composed his latest release like a suite, featuring vocalist-producer Kavya Trehan on ‘Let the Light In’
In the electronic-jazz world of drummer and producer Tarun Balani, it’s clearly important to not create music in a vacuum. On his latest EP 2° released under the project Seasonal Affected Beats, Balani scatters across beats and a waterfall of synth across five tracks that are informed by the artist’s thoughts on climate change, nationhood, mental health and more.
Balani says in a press statement about the EP, “The music of 2° is composed like a suite, with each piece leading into the other and to be considered as separate movements within the suite.” Taking its name from The Paris Agreement in 2015 which aims to keep global temperature change below 2 degrees Celsius this century, Balani begins with urgency on “Prelude” and “Jitter” as he sits amongst his synths and drumkit to craft futuristic, modulated sequences. It slows down with the synths still flittering in, when Kavya Trehan introduces vocals on “Let the Light In,” offering solace and healing to anyone living with doubt in their lives. Trehan’s distinctly enigmatic vocals make Balani come as close as possible to pop territory on the five-track record.
The only other voice on 2° is a sample of India’s social justice reformer and historic figure Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on “Dr. Escher”, who also speaks about discarding doubt, but in the context of unity and the idea of a nation. Balani says, “Prejudice in the form of racism, sexism and casteism continues to reside in our subconscious. It finds 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.”
With help from a poignant horn section, light percussion and piano all recorded in a threadbare ambient setting, the title track “2° (For Naima)” is Balani’s dedication to his three-year-old niece. It rounds out a sonic arch that started out heavily synth-based to a delicate cinematic close.
Listen to ‘2°’ exclusively via Apple Music below.