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Djam Karet

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Djam Karet Recollection Harvest album cover
3.74 | 58 ratings | 9 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

Recollection Harvest:
1. The March To The Sea Of Tranquility (7:18)
2. Dr. Money (7:12)
3. The Packing House (11:11)
4. The Gypsy And The Hegemon (9:20)
5. Recollection Harvest (10:06)

Indian Summer:
6. Indian Summer (4:10)
7. Open Roads (4:57)
8. The Great Plains Of North Dakota (3:13)
9. Dark Oranges (3:44)
10. Twilight In Ice Canyon (5:16)
11. Requiem (4:16)

Total Time: 70:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Gayle Ellett / electric & acoustic guitars, 8-string lute, organ, Mellotron, Theremin, synths, programming, Fx, field recordings
- Mike Henderson / electric, acoustic & slide guitars, e-bow, synths, programming & sequencing, Fx, percussion
- Henry Osborne / bass (2,7), acoustic guitar & percussion (2)
- Aaron Kenyon / bass (1,3,5,8), synth & bass drum (3), Mellotron (5)
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, percussion, synths, sequencing, sounds

- Michael Ostrich /synthesizer (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Bill Ellsworth

CD Cuneiform Records ‎- Rune 219 (2005, US)

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and to Quinino for the last updates
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DJAM KARET Recollection Harvest ratings distribution

(58 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

DJAM KARET Recollection Harvest reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I must admit, I don't have an extensive background in DK's discography. I've heard bits and pieces and only own A Night for Baku. I expected more Prog-Fusion jamming, but am totally surprised by DKs depth and vision brilliantly displayed by the Recollection Harvest.

This is really two distinct albums. Tracks 1-5 were somewhat a carry over from Baku. Heavy rhythmic pulses with Fripperesque soloing and engaging synth work. Suddenly track 6 takes us to electronica land, 7 to the Middle East (similar to Gordian Knots Eastern excursions) and beyond. The second half of the disc really pulled me in.

I find the second half of the Harvest to contain some spiritual meanderings that coincide with my minds eye. Driving down the long and barren Gurr Road in the flat San Joaquin Valley, I find my attention swirling along with the tunes. Highly mediatative. Seductive. I find this disc to be hypnotic. Later that day I started the disc over and the first five tracks seemed to expand, stretch and evolve, sounding completely different than my previous exposure. Whew! Weird. The music opened itself. Instead of hearing bashing drums, searing guitars and thumming bass, I heard a breathing, kicking, living thing. Funny thing is, I haven't used any supplements in 30+ years. It's like Robert Fripp joined Pink Floyd, while Mason was inhabited by Bonzo's ghost.

I would suggest this disc to anyone I considered a friend. It's very, very good, damn, it's GREAT! Buy this and enjoy a head trip.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Djam Karet's "Recollection Harvest" was my 2005 favorite prog album, and looking back at it with no anger at all, my feelings and ideas regarding this album are confirmed and reassured. The DK people have given birth to some of the most exciting and intense prog music of the last 20 years, and "Recollection Harvest" should be accountable as one of their masterpieces. This album is designed as two in one, with tracks 1-5 (individually titled after the whole album) marking the more progressive side, and the remaining ones (grouped under the general title "Indian Summer") consisting of predominantly atmospheric ideas developed in a more concise fashion. This doesn't mean that the repertoire as a whole is dual, since it comprises a clever unity regarding sound and spirit. The first half, while evidently rockier, elaborates an enigmatic vibe, due to the cleverly moderate use of the rocking possibilities of guitars, bass, keyboards and drums. Once again, we find Aaron Kenyon featured in most tracks, while Henry Osborne only appears on a couple of numbers. 'The March to the Sea of Tranquility' kicks off the album with a deceitfully languid mood, which is really a disguise of equilibrated density for a slightly disturbing but mostly mysterious showcase for somber ambiences. The guitar phrases, acoustic guitar chord progressions and eerie keyboard layers (with a dominant mellotron) provide a distinct Djam Karet-ish sense of distinction. More upbeat is the following track 'Dr. Money', whose prog-jazzy structure provides a very dynamic foundation for the exciting marriage of Canterburish rhythm section, Bardens-like keyboards and Crimsonian guitar leads. The mood shifts toward a more patently serene stage with the contemplative interlude, before things return to the initial atmosphere for the coda. The sustained slide guitar sounds really sound weird, although in a constrained fashion, very accord to the track's overall feel. This is a perfect example of how you can approach retro-prog without really sounding retro - a highlight of the album, indeed. 'The Packing House' kind of returns to the dense mystery of track 1, albeit with a stronger dose of intensity: the guitar flows (either e-bow or slide, I'm not sure) are ballsier, while the Moog leads feel more oppressive. For the second half, the track does an unnoticed transition to a soft funk-oriented bridge, linking the progression into the third section, built under the mixture of jazz-rock cadences and cosmic-rock ambiences portrayed by guitars and keyboards, always with a constrained energy. The track's closure finds embraces the reprised funky bridge with an unhidden Floydian acttitude. Dreamy with a slight, permanent dark twist, this is how I would describe this amazing piece. 'The Gypsy and the Hegemon' is another absolute highlight, an example of DK's prog-oriented musical complexity at its best. After getting started with a 'Strawberry Fields'-like duet of mellotronic flute and bouzuki, the quartet gets into a delicate psychedelic jam displayed under a wisely constrained scheme, something like a marriage between jazz-prog and post-rock. Then comes the second half, an electrifying section, featuring underlying powerful bass phrases and manic synth leads that alternate the starring role. This track comprises what is arguably the best performance by Chuck Oken in the album. The title track closes down the album's first portion, starting with an exercise of sonic calmness, then shifting into a spacey-ethnic vibration where electronic input and acoustic sources are set in a marriage solidly built on human and processed percussions. The successive variations are managed with total fluidity: the hardest portions are typical showcases of DK's urgent facet. These guys really master the art of joining different motifs in an effective way, sometimes enhancing their similarities, other times building on their contrast - that's the most recurrent strategy for their most notable compositions. The last six pieces are less rocking and more atmospheric: they are ideas in the most literal sense of the word, instead of proper tracks. The title track is an exhibition of guitar and mellotron remnants floating over a synthesized synchronic amalgam: a weird mixture of electronic new-age and Heldon. 'The Great Plains of North Dakota' is the calmest piece of the album and this particular section, heavily based on acoustic stringed instruments and docile percussions. 'Open Roads' features a mesmeric Hawkwind-like synth layer that invades the track's exotic harmonic basis. 'Dark Oranges' is not loud but clearly disturbing, setting an unrest that seems to have been taken out of a scary dream - the mellotron choirs and the tortured lead guitar emphasize the mood. This track and 'Twilight in Ice Canyon' serve as points of connection between both sides of the album, and by the way, both comprise some of the rockiest guitar leads in the album. 'Requiem' closes down the album with a psychedelic manifestation of eternal sadness, portrayed by the moving guitar solo (a-la Gilmour-meets-Belew) and overwhelimingly mesmeric keyboard layers a-la Wright. DK has got a well-defined musical personality, and hence it is easy to detect album after album. Yet, they manage to always incorporate refreshing ideas, in this way, avoiding the ugliest traps of formulas. "Recollection Harvest", as I stated earlier in this review, is a prog masterpiece of our times.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This album is really made up of two seperate recordings, namely Recollection Harvest and Indian Summer. The first half sees the band almost going retro as they have added vintage keys, analog synths, mellotron and organ to their sound. This side is my favourite because the guitar and instruments I just mentioned really dominate along with some great drumming. The second side is more reflective and meditative. Funny but they really compliment each other. DJAM KARET has always had this gift of contrasting and combining spacey passages with heavy guitar led sections, so I shouldn't be surprised. I would highly recommend you read Dan Bobrowski's review. He has some of the same thoughts and similar experiences as I did. In fact on my long drive home from work today I took a country road I have never been on before just because I was getting such a buzz off this music. It was sunny and about 20 celsius when I left work at 3 pm today. As I took that road which had so many trees on it, I enjoyed the sun shining on them as I could see dark shades and light reflecting off the leaves, all while I listened to the perfect soundtrack for this experience.

"The March To The Sea Of Tranquility" opens with ominous mellotron as drums come pounding in. The guitar cries out as the drums pound. Organ comes in. The drums are quite heavy throughout. The organ sounds great 3 1/2 minutes in, synths come in a minute later. Love the guitar 6 minutes in. We get a haunting ending. "Dr.Money" just sounds so amazing with the vintage keyboard sounds with guitar. Nice bass lines as synths come in. Meanwhile the drums pound away. Amazing sound 2 minutes in as the organ and guitar dominate before the synths return. Very PINK FLOYD-like after 3 1/2 minutes with the spacey organ. The tempo picks up after 6 minutes. "The Packing House" is the longest track on here at over 11 minutes. A pastoral intro as sounds come and go leisurely until it kicks into gear 2 minutes in. Organ runs,pounding drums and guitar lead the way and then synths arrive. Soaring angular guitar 4 1/2 minutes in as drums and organ continue. Nice. Some keys follow before the guitar comes ripping in before 6 minutes. It's back a minute later followed by organ and some grinding guitar. Bravo ! "The Gypsy And the Hegemon" opens with mellotron and bazuki before a fuller sound arrives of drums and guitar. It turns dark before 4 minutes as the bass digs deep. Organ, keys then synths as drums pound away. Impressive ! It calms down again with chunky bass. Synths are back dominating as the bass joins in until the song is almost over. "Recollection Harvest" is fairly laid back to open and then grinding guitar and organ join forces until a calm before 2 minutes. Deep bass lines break that though as drums and grinding guitar join in. Variations on these themes are heard (and some spacey sections) until it gets heavy 8 1/2 minutes in. Scorching guitar ends the first half of the recording.

"Indian Summer" starts off the second half. You would think you were listening to TANGERINE DREAM at first. Lots of keys throughout and synths. Mellotron after 1 1/2 minutes. Cool song. "Open Roads" features a collage of sounds including acoustic guitar, percussion, bass, synths etc. Angular electric guitar sounds 2 1/2 minutes in and a minute later to end it. "The Great Plains Of North Dakota" opens with acoustic guitar as organ and percussion help out. Mellotron follows. Drums 2 minutes in. "Dark Oranges" is dark with electronics and mellotron. Haunting track. "Twilight In The Canyon" is one of my favs. Acoustic and electric guitar with spacey synths. Drums come in at 1 1/2 minutes as the sound becomes fuller. "Requiem" ends the album in fine style. Melodic synth leads with spacey FLOYD-like organ is both powerful and moving. Mellotron before 3 1/2 minutes. This is pure bliss.

I'm such a huge fan of this band it's hard to pick my favourite three albums by them. In no particular order I would say my top 5 are "Burning The Hard City", "Recollection Harvest", "Still No Commercial Potential", "The Devouring" and "Reflections From the Firepool". Crap ! "New Dark Age" should somehow be in there as well. Please check this band out.

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Recollection Harvest" is the first album from DJAM KARET that I've ever heard. I must say that, while the record is highly enjoyable, it's not that exciting.

What we have here is instrumental music that travels on a few different roads but that could be mostly described like this: moody, at moments narcotic, at times bordering on the electronic, with strong influences from PINK FLOYD as well as KING CRIMSON but also with a strong metal flavor, with very powerful riffs and intricate sections. The music is very atmospheric, and that's quite a plus for this album. Long guitar solos, mostly without big distortion, with jazzy drums and elaborate keyboard leads. It has a symphonic feel to it, no question about it.

The disc is divided in two sections: one is "Recollection Harvest" proper, with the kind of music is just described, with groove and energy added to the ambience; the other section is an EP (or that's what the liner notes say at least) called "Indian Summer". As the name could imply, the music in this second half of the disc is much more quiet, acoustic, even more atmospheric, but also less rock. If the first part had moments that smelled like metal, this second one borders on the psychedelic almost constantly.

The musicianship is OK without ever being completely brilliant. The guitars are the stars of the show, not with speed but with long, extended solos of good melodies. The keyboards are of varied type (mellotrons, synths, organs) and they never fail to impress. The rhythmic section is another story. On one hand, the bass players are quite skilled, but their percussive counterpart, the drummer, is a mixed bag. At times his playing sounds very original and fusion-like, but there are moments when his drumming actually sounds a little choppy, and slightly off.

The music, while very well crafted, sometimes feels like it lacks any real exciting ideas. There are moments when one feels like one has listened to this music before, and in several different occasions (and bands). I'm not calling DJAM KARET's "generic instrumental prog-rock music" but for a few minutes I was tempted to do it so. Therefore, while I recognize that, at their best, the band are capable of very entertaining sounds, as a whole the experience is just mildly successful. 3 stars is the perfect score for a good but not essential recording.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Long and good album by this legendary US outfit; combining two different recording exploring somewhat different musical landscapes.

The main portion of this venture is coined "Recollection Harvest", 5 long tunes exploring a warm, dark and complex musical landscape; where organ and toned down guitar layers make up most of the melodies and atmospheres, while atmospheric drawn out guitar soloing - most times placed way back in the mix - add an eerie mood to the proceedings. Slightly spacey, and the stylistic expression have similarities to the output of bands like Ozric tentacles as well as Pink Floyd - albeit much more challenging and complicated.

The "Indian Summer" part of the album consists of sonically lighter as well as shorter excursions, closer to the aformentioned Ozrics in sound, but also more complex and less electronic. The Indian Summer track in itself starts off sounding pretty much like Kraftwerk though, and the other songs also contain elements that fans of other bands will recognize. The familiar elements are vastly embellished with Djam Karets own stylistic expressions though, and there's nothing derivative over this at all - in fact this second part of the album is slightly better than the first in my opinion.

A really good album overall, well worth checking out by fans of instrumental progressive rock.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Over the last couple of months this band has been steadily growing on me. I've worked my way through a few of their albums now and this Recollection Harvest is one of the albums that please me entirely.

Djam Karet is often quoted as the American answer to Ozric Tentacles. This is understandable due to a number of facts: they originate from the same era and they both make instrumental albums with improvised pieces of around 10 minutes. That is it more or less. In my ears, the differences are far bigger.

I like the Ozrics a lot, but Djam Karet covers a much more diverse range of styles. Some albums are very laid back and ambient (Suspension), others are very jazz-rock oriented (New Dark Age) and this one has strong King Crimson leanings due to the heavy bass and the typical chromatic guitar progressions. They also add tasteful touches of moog and mellotron.

They have a more organic sound and style. There's none or not much of the Ozrics' space-rock and heavy synth sound. The production is very much "in your room" and instruments have ample room to breathe.

A last big difference is in the tempo. While Ozric Tentacles mainly goes for danceable grooves, Djam Karet plays around with the rhythm all the time. There are funky grooves but also rocking parts and sections that are very slow and laidback.

Oh yes, there's one other difference. As they need a bit more time to grow on you, they are nearly not as popular as the Ozrics. But I'm sure that will not prevent you to check them out! 3.5 stars

Review by progrules
4 stars Just did the Diagonal review and remembered there was another eclectic band and album that was waiting for a review being this Recollection Harvest from Djam Karet. I know this band for quite some time now thanks to a former stream track from another album called Heads of Ni-oh. I always liked that one and caused the purchase of this release from 2005.

If I compare Djam Karet to Diagonal (after all they are from the same subgenre) the biggest difference is the obvious preference of fine and memorable melodies within DK's music which were almost completely absent with Diagonal's debut. So it will be no surprise that I as melody lover go for this band and album. Especially the first section of 5 songs that are in fact the main part of Recollection Harvest appeal to me big time. To me this is eclectic prog at its best with a well balanced proportion of complexity and melody combined with originallity and variation. Also an interesting mix of both accessiblity and inaccessibilty. I mean this is not for everyone but I feel most proggers should be able to comprehend this.

Whether they like it is a different thing of course. There's also a touch of jazz (The Packing House !) to be found on this and it's the cream on the cake for me. Recollection Harvest is an excellent album and it makes me long for more from Djam Karet. Four stars is not overdone for me though slightly rounded up (3,8).

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One thing for sure I am not a great follower of Djam Karet in terms of the band or the meaning. What I mean with the meaning is that the name implies an Indonesia language meaning literally as a "rubber time" but in normal day-to-day practice is something like not being punctual in coming to meeting or gathering, say it's supposed to 9:00 but then it becomes 9:10 or 9:15 not as punctual as planned. So Indonesian call it as Djam Karet as not being punctual. I am not sure how come the boys in the band knew this and named it for their group. But I laughed outloud the first time knowing that there is a band with this name.

In terms of music, I only knew the band from my prog community in Indonesia as they say that I should listen to the music of Djam Karet, especially some albums that my friends lent me. So I landed with some f the albums including this one. To me, as it is stated clearly at the inlay information that this album is basically two components namely Recollection Harvest with five first tracks and Indian Summer with another six tracks with overall duration of 70 plus minutes. Quite ambitious in terms of duration.

Musically, this album is really good in delivering instrumental tracks especially in harmonizing the sounds of keyboards and guitars with interesting solo provided. The basslines are quite good as well. Opened beautifully with "The March To The Sea Of Tranquility" (7:18) with some sort of ambient fusion music that reminds me to things like Ozric Tentacles (my favorite band as well). It flows nicely to the second track "Dr. Money" (7:12) where I enjoy the guitar solo combined with keyboard work all along the whole track that has many tempo and style changes. Actually it's hard to describe the kind of music this band plays but when I listen to it track by track, I find joy in enjoying the music. Each track offers its unique style, for example the fifth track "Recollection Harvest" (10:06) blends the ambient keyboard effects, dynamic drumming and basslines combined with guitar touches. It's quite exploratory in nature. There are parts that reminds me to the music of Jean Luc Ponty in the middle of this title track.

The second component that starts with "Indian Summer" (4:10) that resonates the repetitious keyboard work overlaid by howling guitar. Even though it sounds quite boring to me but it's quite exploratory. The track "The Great Plains Of North Dakota" (3:13) has the eastern music style that makes the album rich in textures - the acoustic guitar work is nice. While "Dark Oranges" (3:44) provides electric nature of the music with its long sustain keyboard work serving at background.

Overall, it's a very good album demonstrating high quality musicianship of the band members. The music moves in different styles and sometimes is hard to consider the kind of it and sometime is exploratory. On parts with drumset, I think the mixing of the drum sound is too loud and raw. It's recommended for those who like Ozric Tentacles with some King Crimson nuances as well. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Latest members reviews

4 stars Djam Karet's music is very unique and not the most popular kind. It's really diverse, and maybe complex, it's intense and still has lots of calm and relaxing pieces. I really enjoyed listening to Recollection Harvest. The first five tracks were maybe the most catchy ones. They are the ones that ... (read more)

Report this review (#132185) | Posted by Tall Hair | Tuesday, August 7, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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