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Djam Karet - Regenerator 3017 CD (album) cover


Djam Karet

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The grooviest and most chilled instrumental album of 2014 so far goes to Djam Karet's 30 year anniversary special `Regenerator 3017'! The album instantly sees the eclectic prog band take a completely different turn from 2013's `The Trip', which was one long composition filled with dark-tinged psychedelic atmospheres and deep electronic ambience. By comparison, this album, comprised of seven dreamy instrumentals, truly sounds like a celebration, a relaxed and joyful occasion indeed! That's because it is, it's their seventeenth album in three decades, featuring all of the original band members, so why not grab a party hat and pin the tail on this donkey?! (Disclaimer: This album should never be confused with any negative connotations often placed on donkeys, they are a fine wonderful animal!)

The infectious opener `Prince of the Inland Empire' is a breezy and upbeat cruise, deliriously funky bass and glistening Fender-Rhodes piano runs and lively drumming, but the abrupt fade-out at the end is unforgivable! There's plenty of 70's flavoured jazz/fusion for `Living In The Future Past', with a nice cheeky fat bass strut and jazzy drumming over uneasy Mellotron tension and smooth electric guitar licks. `Desert Varnish' has nice delay- fuelled electric guitar ripples over the most upbeat and pleasing synth/electric piano washes that will wrap their comforting fuzzy arms around you. The piece briefly shoots for deep space and sees the aliens from `The Trip' crashing the party, with droning voices, feedback-driven guitar ruptures and thick maddening bass.

`Wind Pillow' is a quirky and oh-so-lovely duel-Mellotron cloud of sheer bliss, like one of those video game levels where Mario takes to the sky in a raccoon suit! Some tastefully restrained guitar scorching, sighed harmonies and loopy wavering synths. `Lost Dreams' has bluesy mellow Pink Floyd-styled electric guitar soloing with just a touch of reflective wistfulness and a little bit of longing. `Empty House' sees us well and truly lost in the skies, chiming guitar strums, a clipping jazzy beat and scratchy Mellotron as we slowly twirl around the big blue, with some triumphant bass bursts punching through the atmosphere. We break into orbit for the strident and serious `On The Edge of The Moon', late-night contemplative piano and whirring Moog, punchy drumming and a red hot searing guitar solo as we shoot across the sky and re-enter the planet. This perfect album closer also has a nice gentle ethereal build in the middle, victorious choral harmonies and just a trace of seventies Genesis in the mix.

Despite a couple of abrupt endings early on being a bit of a let down, there's not a single disappointing second to be found on this album. Infused by Djam Karet with a love of making glorious, joyous and downright beautiful, lush instrumental music this time around, `Regenerator 3014' is the perfect antidote to a bad day, and sheer musical happiness on a tiny shiny disc!

Five stars.

Report this review (#1175767)
Posted Friday, May 16, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band DJAM KARET was formed back in 1984, and since then they have charmed both progressive rock fans and those who enjoy rock music with more of a sophisticated edge in general through a grand total of seventeen albums. A renowned unit at this point, well regarded both within and outside of the progressive rock community. "Regenerator 3017" is their most recent studio production, and was released through the band's own imprint HC Productions in 2014.

Instrumental progressive rock of the careful and dream-laden variety is what Djam Karet provides on "Regenerator 3017". Some jazzrock oriented escapades, a touch of Canterbury and a few select instances of space-inspired details can be found, but the greater majority of the material is of a kind and character that can be regarded as comparable to the more atmospheric material Camel crafted in the mid '70s. Those who treasure music like that should also find this CD to be a compelling one.

Report this review (#1397798)
Posted Sunday, April 12, 2015 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I remember the frustration in the second half of the 00's at how low the albums for this band were rated on this site, same with THE PINEAPPLE THIEF. Certain reviewers went out of their way I felt to go a lot lower with their ratings than I felt was acceptable. That's a long time ago and I have since learned we all have our different tastes so who cares if you rate my favourites at 2 stars or whatever because I've done the very same with certain bands I just can't get into. I am such a big fan of this band from California who early on were often described as a PINK FLOYD/KING CRIMSON cross which is over simplifying it but it helps I suppose.

Man I just checked and I have 13 of their studio albums along with a compilation album of rarities. I think "The Heavy Soul Sessions" is my all time favourite from them but they have rarely done anything sub par. This particular album is a bit of a departure for the band as they head into jazzy territories here but with the usual attention to detail. A five piece here with the usual instruments plus some field recordings and mellotron on five of the seven tunes.

That opener is a top two for me. Light and uptempo with intricate sounds to start and this section will be repeated later on as we get calms too in between. "Living In The Future Past" has some guest warr guitar on it. I like the start with the bass and drums as the electric piano comes and goes. Mellotron too and I really like when the guitar starts to solo. A mysterious beauty this one and the mellotron, guitar and electric piano shine. The other top two besides the opener for me is "Desert Varnish" which just sounds so good. I mean the keyboards and bass impress along with the guitar and it does become warm and melancholic. Mellotron flutes to open "Wind Pillow" as piano, bass and beats support. Guitar will start to solo then keys later. A couple of so so tracks follow before we get the excellent closer "On The Edge Of The Moon" which is the longest at 8 1/2 minutes.

This isn't one of their best in my opinion but worth the 4 stars. A lighter DJAM KARET for sure but I really have enjoyed spinning this one over the past week or more. Another impressive release from the boys. Hey if I look forward to playing the music I feel the band have succeeded.

Report this review (#2675675)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2022 | Review Permalink

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