Their soul songs spell D-I-S-C-O; forced to dirt out on each other’s alternate Bollywood personality selves, a Govinda and a Mithun (guess who is who); Time Machine’s Tarun Balani and Chayan Adhikari are the newest entry on the Electronic Block. We caught up with the duo as they launched their debut EP Around the Corner this 14th June.
Fresh, but with bags full of experience from their individual careers, Tarun Balani Collective that delves into more improvised jazz music and Chayan and Smiti which is an Indie acoustic association; Tarun and Chayan’s Time Machine is the result of a “spiritual collaboration” last year. “I remember I was at Tarun’s place and he was playing me some of his work; one thing lead to another and we ended up wanting to create something together,” shares Chayan. “Ever since I decided to open my own Dexter’s Lab (just more musical), Chayan has always been the one I wanted as my partner in crime,” Tarun adds.
Their EP is a product of mutual fandom and creative respect for each other. “I have known Chayan for the longest time. We first met when he joined Advaita (2004), but back then it was all about the band,” says Tarun. It was when Tarun returned from the Berklee College of Music (2011) that the two connected, “We are fascinated by the sounds present around us – heard and unheard. These are the inspirations behind Time Machine,” said Chayan.
‘Interlude,’ their first single has a lingering effect; it grows over its listener. When asked about the same, Chayan agrees. “If you listen carefully, it’s almost a two-part song. There is no denying that the beginning communicates a daunting feeling. However, the second part plays on the mood of the former and brings hope. Almost like…a ‘no matter what, it is all going to be okay’ feeling.”
Spilling some beans on why they are called the Time Machine, Tarun and Chayan’s discomfort cracks through their voices. They mutually share how they do not want to be put into any one bracket, for example, “Electronic.” Tarun’s metaphor is self-explanatory, “You know how a mixer-grinder works? There are various, different ingredients, but when blended together what is produced is an amalgamation of everything. That’s how our music is.” Much humbled by the exposures they have gotten so far, they associate Time Machine with being seamless; where past comforts the future, future warms the past.
While not wanting to be restricted to just one genre, both are proud for the journey that the homegrown electronic musicians have made so far not just in the country, but the world. “We have some amazing talent which is doing fantastic. They are travelling around the world, making good money, and producing music that sets itself apart. Today, we are recognized internationally for our western music and not just folk or classical music that is associated with being an Indian. It is a huge leap,” says Chayan.
Their EPs are supported by images and graphics that draw a listener even deeper. When questioned about the intriguing flower and the little whale replacing their creative heads, they are much quicker to push the question right back. “This endeavor is as much about you, as about us. It is as much about harmonics as about visuals. We are aiming to bring things together for an ultimate experience of art. Two of our friends, Shiv Ahuja (Still Photographer) and Andrew Clarance (Graphic Designer) joined us to add the visual aesthetics for Time Machine. We want to cross borders of defined arts,” shares Tarun.
There is another reason as to why they do not want their faces to become the ‘face’ for the Time Machine. “It takes away the identity of the music. We have been around for a while and people would associate us with our past works, leading to comparisons. We want to start afresh,” adds Tarun.
With their debut EP out, they are excited to offer their listeners a musical time travel. For them, music reflects the world and also provides an escape when it gets too much. “We want to provide a getaway, that calms people down and restores their will,” says Chayan.
As we get ready to hop aboard this Time Machine, the DSSC HQ is taking a timeout with their Interlude. Join in?
Feature Image courtesy: Shiv Ahuja and Andrew Clarance