Klyfta

A rather intriguing proposition here in the form of a fake band anchored by Psychic Temple’s Chris Schlarb. Buffeted with plenty of billowy backstory, this one can sit alongside the Jeremiah Sand release on Sacred Bones as one of the best deep fake bands of the year. Now as Chris would tell it this represents an unearthed treasure from the early ‘70s, picking up where the works of Swedish songwriter Casper Sundberg and crew left off. However a little more digging pegs this as one of the artificial artists that soundtrack the 2019 alternate history adventure game Hypnospace Outlaw. While the game tracks through a divergent 1999 and presents puzzles via content policing an Angelfire-rife vision of the internet, it’s nice to think of Klyfta as not just a perfectly realized and stylized nugget in the game, but as a band that lives and breathes its own lounge-prog reality.

That seems to be what Schlarb is getting at with this low-profile standalone release. Taken way out of context the band doesn’t flag in its ability to convey a sense of ‘70s excess and indulgent psych-jazz odyssey. Ostensibly permeated by Schlarb’s guitar and fleshed out with a tumult of drums and organ, the works assembled here are supposed to be disparate sessions cobbled together by session musicians finishing Sundberg’s abandoned work, but its clear that Schlarb’s dedication to opulent prog-jazz touches won’t let him make this feel like anything less than a cohesive document. While I’d love to live within the skewed timeline that lets “Sport Anthem” actually anchor tennis matches and support a struggling ‘70s lost cause, I’m equally happy to let Schlarb fill in the shading of his fantasy with pulsing rhythms and looping instrumentals that could easily fill out the landscapes of an airbrushed van, or at the very least, the man who left it all behind to do the airbrushing. The LP is limited to 500, so this curio probably won’t stick around too long.




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