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Listen to Chris Schlarb’s Genius Jazz Track Feat. Sufjan Stevens [stream]

Posted on the 31 May 2013 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie


If Chris Schlarb’s Psychic Temple project is a cult, I’ll definitely be drinking that kool-aid. His recent collaboration with Sufjan Stevens caught my attention and tossed me down the rabbit hole of his music. The contemplative, ethereal jazz he’s producing has an ambience all its own, spreading itself across space and time and landing in the future.

In 2007, Schlarb released Twilight & Ghost Stories via Asthmatic Kitty Records, a project spawned by the turbulence of life-altering situations. The result was a ten track piece of art, packed to the brim with equally genius collaborators, including Sufjan Stevens, Mick Rossi (Philip Glass Ensemble), John Ringhofer (Half-Handed Cloud), and so many more. Then, in 2010, Schlarb released Psychic Temple, “a deeply considered meditation on beauty,” working again with a stunning collection of 29 progressive musicians, including Julianna Barwick. Psychic Temple is a four-song, nearly 40-minute amalgamation of jazz, electronic, folk and orchestral ruminations all bursting forth, demanding to be uttered and felt and consuming over one thousand hours in the making.

Fast forward to now, and Schlarb is set to release a new full-length, Psychic Temple II, on July 16. The single we’ve been presented, “‘Til I Die”, features Sufjan Stevens and unveils a “new direction” for Schlarb’s Psychic Temple project. Once again inviting an impressive and diverse roster of artists along for recording, Psychic Temple II contains three “reinvented” covers of three fellow innovators and iconoclasts: Brian Wilson (“’Til I Die”), Joe Jackson and Frank Zappa, plus eight originals that are sure to simultaneously enrapture and boggle the mind.

Schlarb’s music is progressive, expansive, and intricate, and it’s an injustice to miss out on such truly forward-thinking work. I implore you to listen to the Beach Boys’ cover above for starters, and then, if your curiosity is piqued, make your way over to Twilight & Ghost Stories, which will eventually lead you to Psychic Temple and then leave you in dire anticipation of Psychic Temple II. Within Schlarb’s experimentation is a profound experience to be had and a singular voice to be heard amidst a gorgeous cacophony that I sincerely hope you take time to experience.

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