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Djamra - Kamihitoe CD (album) cover

KAMIHITOE

Djamra

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Moderator / Psych / Avant / Neo Teams
4 stars Active, aggressive, avantgarde and after all aholish explosion they can give us!

Exactly their third work Kamihitoe is a wonderful chandelier united with their musical brilliancy. They can push strongly their rock flavour rather than jazzy one. Therefore DJAMRA's play is heavier and more aggressive than of another jazz-rock band. The first part or the last one of Alha-Ha has laidback sounds (and they can play naturally and with relaxed), with some avantgarde and eccentricity in the middle part. This musical offense should be their style I consider.

The song formed with their favourable essence (heavy, jazzy, funky, aggressive but serious and strict) is the first track Kamihitoe (in English "Close to the edge"?), their masterpiece. After the spacey opening, all instruments can attack us heavily...the sounds of a bass and drums & percussion are very steady, strict, and ease our mind. On the contrary, saxophone, keyboard, and guitar sounds are very aggressive, eccentric, and violent and rampant (great!). The latter ones can play much with improvised, over the strict rhythm section. In fact the point is that the improvised instruments cannot play wonderfully without the rhythm section, a steady basis.

And the song we can feel the bass & percussion terrific is the second track New Bound. Please listen to the first half. The serious battle with Masaharu and Akihiro is beyond words. We can feel very happy only to hear the battle. On it, in the latter half, a loud saxophone and a heavy guitar join. Suddenly, in the quiet world, eccentric piano sound freeze us. We, completely frozen, will be hit and blown by all of them at last. LOL.

Furthermore, can you pay attention to the song 94k2? 94k2 - KUSHIKATSU - in English, a broiled cutlet on a skewer - is a local special food in Osaka. Various ingredients, sources, and tastes can come one after another aggressively...with loud voices of the shopmaster. This dirty atmosphere and oily flavour we Osakan feel very GOOD...not kidding! Oh, the last is a dessert - FRIED ICE CREAM! hahhaha!

The word "mixture" or "toy box" can remarkably match DJAMRA's style and policy. We cannot imagine what should pop up from the "toy box" until the end.

Ah...well...the last track's title Ahonoko is very good! Who is ahonoko (a fool)? DJAMRA? We listeners? No, both! Crazy, eccentric, and funky, funny sounds can be very comfortable for us fools. Yes, Aho is the greatest! Thank you DJAMRA for your fantastic gems to us foolish fans. Please laugh out loudly!

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Send comments to DamoXt7942 (BETA) | Report this review (#230182)
Posted Thursday, August 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Excellent fusion album! Being a fan of Japanese progressive artists, I noticed there are two main streams in Japanese progressive jazz/rock related music from last few decades: some bands (and there were really plenty of them in 80-90-s) play quite competent technically but usually faceless soft fusion, and another are just a brutal hardcore avant.

It's really not very often you can hear well-balanced musically release somewhere in between. Djamra is one of the few band , filling this niche. "Kamihitoe" is their great release,combining very energetic,in tradition of Japanese brutal avant, music with melodic tunes, very complex musicianship, but very jazzy, never too much dissonant or chaotic.

In fact, music of this album is real modern fusion, based on best European traditions, but very full-bodied,tasty,with light courage of Japanese avant in it!Kitamura's sax is everywhere and gives to whole sound very Elton Dean-like feel. Acoustic piano adds post-bop jazz tradition, but at the same time there are many of modern electronic keyboards. Energetic field comes from heavy fusion , some pieces sound almost as heavy metal (being absolutely jazzy at the same time). Bass is deep and very groovy. Rhythms and tempos are changing similar times during each composition, but there are not even traces of chaos ! Music is mostly improvised, but it sounds as pre-composed one! Free jazz sax over the top of many compositions is a last spice which makes this dish a gourmet one.

Possibly one of the best Japanese modern fusion release from last decade. My rating is 4,5,rounded to 5.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#314702)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars The title of the album references the difference between genius and madness, 'KAMI' means paper and 'Hitoe' means a very little difference, so it is the thickness of a sheet of paper. This is the third album from this instrumental quintet (guitar, bass, keys, sax, drums) and there are times when all five of them are on exactly the same wavelength and others when they are all pushing forward to front to try and wrest control of the songs from others. But, and this is a huge but, there is always a great deal of control so even if the sax is going off like crazy during the title song he is straight back in with the others at exactly the right moment. There is the feeling that the music is very carefully constructed with an agreement for one or the other to go mad for a set number of bars but that they have to be able to drop right back into the theme at the right moment.

Although this is very much jazz based the guitar is far more from the rock area, much more metallic, but this definitely doesn't come across as lightweight fusion. It is possible to view the band's site in English (something unusual for Japanese bands) at www.djamra.com and also listen to samples and I feel that this is one act that does benefit from hearing first. But if you like inventive progressive jazz then this is one of the most interesting releases from Poseidon. www.poseidon.jp

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#906883)
Posted Tuesday, February 05, 2013 | Review Permalink

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