Christopher Jarvis performs Clairsentient’s release show on January 17th at the New Dodge Lounge (8850 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck), with Doc Waffles, Mister, Eddie Logix Emily Rose and Pastel Arsenal. Doors at 8pm - $5 – more info: newdodgelounge.com
Christopher Jarvis was on Metro Times’ cover three years ago. It was for the Blowout, but it was before the scene had really heard of him yet. Now is really the time to start listening. Clairsentient’s charms come from Jarvis maturing into an ever-more capable composer of heavily atmospheric electronica, with his talents for sequencing having caught up to his inspired vision for sound experimentation. Jarvis follows in the footsteps of cerebral-sounding electronika-stars like Four Tet, Boards of Canada, or even Detroit’s own Shigeto. He blends acoustic and synthetic instruments: loops from his laptop lilt over chiming bells, countless drum samples, from bongos to hand-claps, spill varying rhythmic patterns under distorted bass grooves. A key track displaying his heightened songwriting senses would be “Star Tetrahedron,” where latent Radiohead-influences glisten through three varying movements that each build towards a tension of meticulously intertwining instrumental elements, synthesized vibes, organs and whooshing shakers seem to knot-up to a dazzling tightness before pulling back into a blooming refrain.
The voice of Jarvis isn’t heard on any track, but it’s not strictly instrumental. Three local rappers and an indie-R&B crooner come in for cameos: Doc Waffles’ unconventional, sometimes ambling cadences fit just barely atop the danceable beats of “Paradox,” spitting eloquently about sushi and kale smoothies, while Doc Illingsworth takes over at the second verse, displaying his knack for tight, swiftly rounding rhymes.
“Dreams Of Falling” takes James Linck’s high, hazy ballad style and spreads it smoothly over the downbeat defying delivery of SelfSays, tumbling raps out almost too fast amid the soaring synth and steadier, more meditative beat, until he brings it down for a steady mantra that fits the subtle enlightenment that Jarvis, himself, found, on this solo outing: “Inside himself / he lost himself / Inside himself he found himself
now try.” Yes, we say “enlightenment,” since, hey, there’s a track called “Bodhisattva” breaking up side one and side two.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.