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Psychic Temple II

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Fred Thomas
With 2010's Psychic Temple, Long Beach composer/producer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist Chris Schlarb assembled over 25 musicians and vocalists and guided them to co-create his long-form pieces, drawing equally from his background in jazz improvisation and a more experimental muse. Schlarb cited Bill Laswell's always morphing Material project as a direct influence, inspired by Laswell's juxtaposition of somewhat mismatched players and the more interesting results that sprang from those strange pairings. With Psychic Temple II, Schlarb revisits his role of composer as creative director, again conducting a large pool of talent, but this time gravitating a lot closer to pop ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Fred Thomas
With 2010's Psychic Temple, Long Beach composer/producer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist Chris Schlarb assembled over 25 musicians and vocalists and guided them to co-create his long-form pieces, drawing equally from his background in jazz improvisation and a more experimental muse. Schlarb cited Bill Laswell's always morphing Material project as a direct influence, inspired by Laswell's juxtaposition of somewhat mismatched players and the more interesting results that sprang from those strange pairings. With Psychic Temple II, Schlarb revisits his role of composer as creative director, again conducting a large pool of talent, but this time gravitating a lot closer to pop music than the first, more elongated Psychic Temple volume. Beginning with smoky chord progressions and vocalist Sarah Negahdari's throaty warble, album opener "Seventh House" sets the tone with wandering, jazz-influenced songwriting. This song and its instrumental afterthought "The Starry King Hears Laughter" both have the same dark, nocturnal quality of California pop stars who had periods moonlighting as jazz aficionados, be it Steely Dan's pristine meandering on Aja or Joni Mitchell's heartsick crooning on The Hissing of Summer Lawns. This jazz-informed pop sometimes takes on a post-rock feel, as on the Sea and Cakey "Solo in Place." It's on the album's several covers including Schlarb's takes on tunes by Joe Jackson, Frank Zappa, and Brian Wilson that the distinct melding of improvisational and pop-friendly languages is heard most strikingly. In particular, the final strains of Schlarb's mellow yet desperate reading of later Beach Boys tune "'Til I Die" sound more helpless and scarred than the already shaky original. A chorus of distinct voices from indie stars Sufjan Stevens, Nedelle Torrisi, and the Castanets' Raymond Raposa slowly drowns under waves of stringed instruments and increasingly dissonant walls of overdubbed violin drones. Only the ten-minute "NO TSURAI" comes close to the longer explorations of the first Psychic Temple, and amidst the catchier melodic fare, its droning brass and subdued long tones offer something of a breather from the rest of the record. Keeping a reserved pace even when at its most pop, Psychic Temple II is a highly consistent listen given how surprising some of its sounds are and how jarring some of its juxtaposed elements could be. Skillfully conducting, Schlarb refines the vision of the predecessor into something tightly wound but loosely presented.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/16/2013
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty
  • UPC: 656605610528
  • Catalog Number: 56105
  • Sales rank: 209,181

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Seventh House - Psychic Temple (2:45)
  2. 2 The Starry King Hears Laughter - Psychic Temple (3:09)
  3. 3 Solo In Place - Psychic Temple (3:59)
  4. 4 Bird In the Garden - Psychic Temple (2:46)
  5. 5 'Til I Die - Psychic Temple (3:57)
  6. 6 She is the Golden World - Psychic Temple (4:13)
  7. 7 Steppin' Out - Psychic Temple (4:52)
  8. 8 All I Want is Time - Psychic Temple (3:01)
  9. 9 Sofa No. 2 - Psychic Temple (1:48)
  10. 10 No Tsurai - Psychic Temple (10:10)
  11. 11 Hyacinth Thrash Quarter - Psychic Temple (1:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Chris Schlarb Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Electric Piano, Moog Synthesizer, Vibes
Danny Levin Trombone, Trumpet
Steuart Liebig 6-string Electric Bass
Paul Masvidal Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Brian Walsh Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Philip Green Violin
Isaiah Owens Hammond Organ
Sufjan Stevens Vocals
Kris Tiner Trumpet
David Moyer Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Nedelle Torrisi Vocals
Devin Hoff Double Bass
Raymond Raposa Vocals
Josh Ottum Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
DM Stith Vocals
Danny T. Levin Trombone
Aaron Roche Acoustic Guitar, Flugelhorn, Vocals, Background Vocals, Pump Organ
Sarah Negahdari Vocals
John Clement Wood Electric Piano
Logan Coale Double Bass
Nicholas Zork Violin
Anthony Shadduck Double Bass
Arlene Deradoorian Vocals
Ikey Coale Hammond Organ
Paulie Pesh Acoustic Guitar
Technical Credits
Joe Jackson Composer
Frank Zappa Composer
Roger Seibel Mastering
Brian Walsh Horn Arrangements
Chris Schlarb Arranger, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Horn Arrangements
David Moyer Horn Arrangements
Danny T. Levin Horn Arrangements
Aaron Roche String Arrangements
Tabor Allen Composer, Lyricist
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