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Djam Karet - Suspension & Displacement CD (album) cover


Djam Karet

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3 stars Today's DJAM KARET is an exciting and innovative band who I find a great pleasure to listen to. But this re-release of their dark 1991 new age/ambient album "Suspension & Displacement" is just boring with never-ending soundscapes, improvisations, sampled effects and repetitive loops that just ain't going nowhere. This album is a mix between Aphex Twin, Biosphere and Tony Gerber. This album were released simultaneously with "Burning the Hard City", an album that is totally different to this, with its heavy guitar oriented instrumental progressive rock. "Some tracks though are quite good: the opening "Dark Clouds, No Rain", "Angels Without Wings" and "Consider Figure Three". If you're not a die-hard new age fan you shouldn't even consider buying this album. I rather suggest that you get hold of one of their more previous releases, "The Devouring" for instance, that is far better than this.
Report this review (#5421)
Posted Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I would not be surprised to see this album misjudged and mistreated. Companion to "Burning the Hard City" (that might have been called "Much ado about nothing"), "Suspension & Displacement" takes its opposite side and resides in the ambient role while the prior plays uselessly the loud and noisy card. "Suspension & Displacement" is an introspective voyage, and though i'm not fond about ambient electronic, i was instantly seduced by it. Maybe because it was presenting a more humble perspective from the guys in Djam Karet. Eno afficionados should definitely check this one. Lovers of leatherweared guitar heroes adopting some phallic postures while their long hair flows in the wind should pass their way.
Report this review (#5422)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
2 stars This record and "Burning The Hard City" were both recorded in 1991. The band suggests they are "Schizophrenic twins conceived in the musical soup of elastic time, yet seperated at birth and forever linked in the instrumental rock landscape world of DJAM KARET." They also say "One does not exist without the other."

For me this was a tough listen. A lot of tough listens actually. With all the taped effects, synthesizer programming & sequencing, it's more about sounds than songs. And I do like spacey music but there is so much buzzing and humming and pulsing like on the first track "Dark Clouds, No Rain" that when the drums come after 4 minutes it's almost a relief. "8:15-No Safe Place" features haunting and eerie sounds 2 minutes in. "Angels Without Wings" is all about more spacey sounds and noises. "Consider Figure Three" has what sounds like a teacher giving a lecture on anatomy with spacey sounds in the background. Doesn't work for me at all.

"Erosion" was another hard listen, with that annoying sound that is constantly repeated. It finally stops around 8 minutes in,exactly when the stressful look on my face leaves coincidently enough. "Severed Moon" has some refreshing strummed guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. "The Naked & The Dead" features sounds that cry out as a buzzing noise buzzes. Haha. This song gets a little sinister sounding before it becomes fast paced after 4 minutes to the end. "Gordon's Basement" has someone speaking as spacey sounds are generated. The final song "A City With Two Tales: Part One Revisited 1990" opens with the sound exploding and then some clapping as spacey sounds arrive with a beat of drums.

2.5 stars. Fans only. I am such a big fan of this band but I can't see playing this ever again.

Report this review (#140721)
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars This album is much too light for my tastes. I've never had much patience for ambient music. While this has a lot more substance than, say, any of Eno's ambient works, or Fripp's soundscapes, it still is little more than background music.

Most of this album is based on the repetition of a quiet synth or guitar riff, looped over and over, with little pieces of slow guitar solos played over it. At times, found sounds are dropped in over the music for added effect. This works best in "Consider Figure Three", with what sounds like pieces of a medical lecture spliced in, giving the song an eeriness the music alone does not provide. If you really like this cut, look for some of Negativland's work.

2.5 stars. There is a bit more for this to be just for collectors only, but I wouldn't quite calssify it as good.

Report this review (#231149)
Posted Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars An extraordinary album from Djam Karet. Very different from their usual rocking style so approach with care. It is entirely ambient: no rhythm, no vocals, next to no melody; only slowly evolving sounds and chords.

For a reason that I don't remember, this was the first Djam Karet album that I checked out and somehow it immediately clicked, which makes me kind of a dissident here. Even this band's rare fans do not seem to like it.

And normally this wouldn't be my cup or tea neither. I'm not a fan of Eno's and Fripp's similar excursions but here it works just fine for me. It's hard to say why. I just think that the atmosphere they create here is very powerful and entrancing. But hey, I got to know it during one of my Schulze phases. Maybe that's why it sounded so exciting :)

With this kind of music you can't argue over compositions or songs. They are simply not there. Instead this is something that will either captivate you or not. There's no predicting how you will react to it. If you are a Djam Karet fan or into the instrumental side of ambient rock (Noman, Nosound, Sigur Ros), or a post rock lover you should give this a shot though.

Report this review (#250007)
Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Djam Karet's Suspension and Displacement is a long way away from being a typical release for the group, which might explain why it seems rather underrated here. It's the brother album to Burning the Hard City, which showcased the band's more energetic and rock-oriented side; Suspension and Displacement, then, is the precise opposite, a collection of languid ambient soundscapes intended to highlight the more laid-back and contemplative aspects of the group's sound. Occupying the same sort of sonic universe as group hero Robert Fripp's own work in Frippertronics, those hoping for yet another dark Crimsonian riff-fest will be disappointed, but approach it as an ambient album and there's lots to enjoy in the dark corners of these tracks.
Report this review (#601656)
Posted Monday, January 2, 2012 | Review Permalink

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