July 16th, 2013 , by John Beeler
Out now on Asthmatic Kitty Records, Chris Schlarb’s Psychic Temple II is an auteurist outing with an all-star cast.
Led by composer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Schlarb, the Psychic Temple project brings together an enormous range of artists from the musical underground: singer-songwriters Ray Raposa of Castanets, Nedelle Torrisi of Cryptacize, Aaron Roche and Sufjan Stevens; Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens; Death guitarist Paul Masvidal; Xiu Xiu and Nels Cline bassist Devin Hoff; drummers Tabor Allen and Andrew Pompey; trumpeter Kris Tiner; and many more.
“Each one of them is a leader of their own project,” Schlarb says of his Psychic Temple lineup. It’s “an honor,” he says, “for me to be in charge for a little while.”
Psychic Temple II was recently chosen as a First Listen by NPR.org, who said that Schlarb’s ”restless creativity has no choice but to continuously seek new worlds” and praised his “unfailing determination to make things happen.” Schlarb himself describes the Psychic Temple project’s sophomore out as “the most ambitious large scale work for an ensemble that I’ve ever put together,” but the effect of the music is more important to him than its complexity.
“If somebody wants to jump into it on a songwriting level or a structural level, they can listen to it and say, ‘Wow, that’s really neat, these chords are really interesting,’ or, ‘These time signatures are jumping around,’” says Schlarb, “but I’d also like to reach them on a sentimental level. It doesn’t just exist to be difficult.”
Instead, Schlarb says, “I really challenged myself with this record, to write stuff that was a little more intricate and complex and detailed, but still allowed to live and breathe.” The result merges the sophistication of jazz or chamber music with an unpretentious indie-rock atmosphere.
Psychic Temple II is available in CD, LP, and digital download packages starting July 16.
April 30th, 2010 , by John Beeler
Photo by David Garland
September 22nd, 2009 , by John Beeler
But fret not! Cryptacize tours on! On October 10th Cryptacize will trade in Sufjan and his pals for another set of Brooklyn-based musicians: The Fiery Furnaces. Together, along with Dent May, they will tour from Hoboken (Jersey not Georgia) to the always-sunny palm-kissed LA in November (with a little Canada tucked in there for good measure – cue the highway bound Zamboni, photographed by Cryptacize bassist Aaron Olson; by the way, Canadians: is it legal to drive a Zamboni 105 km/h up there? Amazing.).
It’s on Cryptacize’s own blog (replete with out-of-sight mixes and so-so funny pictures!) that we read with great sadness that this coast-to-coast tour may be the last chance to catch them live for a while. Don’t let the opportunity, and Cryptacize in your city, pass you by! Get details on this tour here.
June 22nd, 2009 , by John Beeler
Having barely finished a whirlwind European tour playing with Final Fantasy, Mirah, and Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), Cryptacize is now hitting their home pavement with an extensive US tour alongside Casiotone for The Painfully Alone. Touring in support of their sophmore release Mythomania, the band has filled out a little with newest member Aaron Olson joining Chris, Nedelle and Michael. Aaron and Nedelle met at music school a few years ago. Guitar is his first instrument but he was kind enough to switch to bass for Cryptacize. Most importantly, Aaron has black hair, hazel eyes, and is a sensitive guy. Be sure to catch them on the road. Check the tour dates here.
Also be sure to head over to Slowboy Records to pick up the newest offering from Cryptacize, their Lost Beauties & Easy To Dream 7″. This limited edition (300 copies) clear vinyl 7" can be purchased by clicking here. We think it is pretty awesome that the previous release on this label was a David Bryne/Brian Eno collaboration.
May 15th, 2009 , by John Beeler
Next week, Cryptacize begins a massive intercontinental tour. That makes today as good a time as any to recap and roundup Cryptacize related news across the net of inter. Let’s hop to it!
First, the goodies. Cryptacize has been planting little mixes in a couple of places across the cyberscape. We’ve done you the favor of compiling them for you. Mix 1 ("A Rainbow’s Revenge") is right here, Mix 2 ("Find Someone") is here, Mix 3 ("The Eternal City") is here, and the latest, Mix 4 ("The Edge of the World"), is here. Chris Cohen, guitarist of the quartet, has also generated a terrific little mix entitled "Awkward Shadow," available on Porch of the Mystics here. They are all good. You now have hours of listening ahead of you!
Ok, second, people are digging the new album, which is nice. David Bryne included Cryptacize on his April 2009 mix (here). Nate Chinen, a critic, at the New York Times listed Mythomania as one of his choices here. The ever-intrepid XLR8R said Mythomania is full of "pleasant pop moments." And Under the Radar used words like sharp, tasteful, deliberate, dynamic, and beautiful in their review. Thanks guys!
Speaking of UTR, they’ve published a terribly fun interview with the band. You can read it here.
And don’t forget their tour! They’ll be in Europe until June 12th, where you may be able to buy Cryptacize’s new 7", coming out on Slowboy (see here). Then they’ll barely have enough time to adjust their clocks before they’re touring in the U.S. starting in LA on the 23rd. See here for details.
April 28th, 2009 , by John Beeler
Buy the CD for $10, or the LP for $12 here.
April 21st, 2009 , by John Beeler
April 19th, 2009 , by John Beeler
April 10th, 2009 , by John Beeler
March 31st, 2009 , by John Beeler
Check out all of Cryptacize’s dates, including those for an upcoming European tour, here.