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Psychic Temple - IV LP
Joyful Noise Recordings
Records like Psychic Temple IV aren't made anymore. Maybe they never were. There is a magic present that some mistake for "tubes" or "tape" but it's no more complicated than putting the right musicians together with the right songs.
Produced and composed by band/cult leader Chris Schlarb, Psychic Temple IV is what happens when 87-year old Max Bennett (bassist on Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark and Hissing of Summer Lawns) plays with 26-year old drummer Tabor Allen (of Cherry Glazerr). British rock legend Terry Reid sings a trio of duets written and arranged for the only artist nicknamed "Superlungs". When keyboardist Mick Rossi wrote to say he would be in town with the Philip Glass Ensemble, songs were composed and a new date was put on the calendar.
The recording studio is not just Schlarb's laboratory, it's also his workplace. Since the release of 2015's Psychic Temple III he has produced over two dozen albums ranging in style from jazz, bluegrass, folk, and rock to country, R&B, experimental, and children's music. "I used to ditch class in high school and spend hours at the library researching how people made records," Chris says. "It's all I've wanted to do for the last 20 years." He recently opened BIG EGO, his own commercial studio in Long Beach, California.
Psychic Temple IV was recorded in Los Angeles over a series of eight large scale sessions. In the spirit of the classic Wrecking Crew sessions for Phil Spector and the Beach Boys, the band was often tasked with recording four songs per session. Vocals were added as soon as the rhythm section tracks were cut with Terry Reid, Arlene Deradoorian, and Nedelle Torrisi joining Chris in the studio to work out harmony parts and sing live together.
After making his vocal debut on III, Schlarb toured the country twice over. His voice is assured and he seems to have lived with these songs (and the idea of singing) for some time. His melodies are soulful yet unpredictable having transferred his ability to write for instrumental ensembles to pop music. And yet the exploratory spirit of the first Psychic Temple album still abides. The music has been pored over with both care and abandon. There is magic in Psychic Temple IV. It's no more complicated than that.