Static Caravan V.A. : "TEAISM" music inspired by the art and culture of tea (UK,2008)***
I liked the idea of a compilation inspired by the making of, drinking and cultivating and the culture around tea (something which exists in fact especially in Japan and somewhat in England). I wondered how much, in this case, this conceptual idea was inspired by another album I have reviewed before which was inspired by dishes in general (although that one looked like a CD for soup, like “soup music”) ; the front cover even looked similar, so I needed to have this one too, and check it out, and have tea with it (I fail biscuits). Of course, on the intro especially you hear the making of tea in the background as well. Remember Pink Floyd’s “Allan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” which included not only the tea making, but also egg baking, morning talks and flashing matches to put on the gas with the music, a revelation this was, back in 1967. Max De Wanderer’s dulcimer strums with kettle boiling and its whistle softly coming up of course recalls this last moment, in all its simplicity.
Every track from then on follows perfectly in the next one. It starts with a few tracks which are loop/feedback ambient softpop music with some melodic brightness, which are kitchen and having-tea friendly. Like the tea sinking with clouds in the water, some ticking rhythms (at times like a clock), are added, with soft and sweet and warm electronica like folktronica, like sweet-beats, with Tunng providing the first pop moment, at the right moment, and with all the available and built up elements within reach, followed by a jazzy track (Root70) with equally light rhythms, and light-funny in nature, continuing the feeling that this is all about happy moments, with tea sharing, and an electropop track (Qua), still keeping the lightness in it, before settling down more subtle and with warmer sounds again after that (Dollboy), with the sounds of the kettle used as a sad but light feeling of goodbye while looking at the kettle one more last time (Xela), the album still has a conclusion with one more light jazzy song, as if from an old time nature, recalling the good times..good bye tea (Cibelle with Josh Weller). A great release, for having tea. I still miss a biscuit.