Duke Garwood and Rich Machin have put together a musical collective under the name of The Quiet Temple, using a rolling cast of sidemen taken from the likes of Soulsavers, Spiritualized, Stereolab and Julian Cope.
They’ve announced the release of their self-titled debut six-track album on Friday July 5th on Point of Departure, and have showcased a slice of the record by releasing The Last Opium Den (On Earth). The band set about the album planning to have, well, no real plans, but an air of adventure about it. “One of the big things I wanted to achieve with this record was breaking away from things being super planned out,” Machin explains. “To actually just go into a studio without having everything mapped out in advance. And being comfortable enough to see what happens. It was incredibly stressful at first, but once you realise it works it’s actually a really nice way to work.”
There was reference points though, and that came in the form of three seminal jazz records – Larry Young’s Lawrence of Newark, Marcus Belgrave’s Gemini and Noah Howard’s The Black Ark – were discussed with everyone beforehand. “They were the big three reference records,” says Machin. “And everyone dialled into that quite quickly. The spirit of those records flows through this one somewhat.”
There was a thought though that somehow they wanted to de-jazz the jazz, and add more of a Velvet Underground vibe to the whole thing, and thats what comes across with ‘The Last Opium Den (On Earth). Instrumental and with this trippy feel that falls in and out of focus, like staring at a mirage, there’s definitely something of the Velvets about the track, as it weaves its way, the Saxophone often taking the lead, always matched by the trip(hoppy)-like drumming. Static and arid, it gently morphes and moves and comes to its own climax before dying away.
As Machin says “I don’t think it’s a jazz record. It’s got a lot of Krautrocky stuff going on in it as well. For me, as well as the Alice Coltrane influence, it’s equal parts Velvet Underground and Harmonia. There’s lots of psyche rock and other elements in there too.”
Check out The Last Opium Den (On Earth), here