Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Djam Karet - A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof CD (album) cover


Djam Karet


Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 52 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars A Sky Full Of Stars For A Roof

I remember one time, in an email with Gayle that we talked about music or something related to chord and changes. He said it was different for them, since they could start on A and end up on Z.

Not a whole lot needed to be said about their music after that. If you listen to almost anything they do, just when you expect something or other, it is not there, and something else lights up the visions and cinematic sights that the music offers. It will still have, on occasion, a few signs of the hard and heavy rock band, but the nice thing is that they are not "stuck" on the solo or the moment, and it helps propel the music to another visual segment that ... sometimes defies description, and this is the greatest part of the attraction for their music.

Be it, using an incredible load of instruments from everywhere except Mars and Pluto (I think!!!), the collages are incredible and really neat, and show the incredible feast of sumptuous sounds and continuity to make some very different images.

It would be too easy, to say that there are a lot of influences, and the two most obvious are the original guitar romping along and taking the music to a different place, not your usual formatted song that you listen to each and every day ... and then it's ... a sitar like sound instead of the guitar? Some say that a lot here sounds like this or that, but the continuity of it all is nothing but Djam Karet at its best and so far out, that it leaves a lot of music feeling not as strong as it can be or should be. It's hard to come out of listening to Djam Karet and feeling that something is missing. More often than not you wonder what next since you know that the next bit is not the same thing!

Adding to this, are the electronics, both electronic and digital that infuse the complete sound of the band, into a myriad of feelings, probably too difficult to describe ... what was that and wow?

"Beyond the Frontier" starts the album and right off the bat you get a feeling of the early Djam Karet and its start from sounds and strangeness. Immediately you get the feeling that you are about to have a lot of guitar driven material, only for it to develop into something else totally different and it is not the guitar that does the "solo" at the top! Gotta love it when non-conventional methods and sounds are what this is all about, instead of a song format.

There is slight discussion that is likely more confusing to many of us than helpful but we have to take the word for it. Chuck Oken says that this something that comes out of a dual process of things that are mixed live and improvised, and some things work and end up kept.

Chuck states: "In 2017/2018, Gayle reviewed a whole bunch of electronic pieces I had sent him and he lived with them over time and took x amount of them and combined and edited them into 7 tracks. These electronic pieces were composed of everything but the kitchen sink as I use a large array of both analog and digital keyboards and modular with a healthy dose of looping and processing. Those 7 tracks became the 1st layer of this project and are accurately reflected in Beyond The Long Twilight."

"Long Ride to Eden" is one special piece, that at times has me thinking that this is what someone like Tangerine Dream could have done with its loud sequencers and additives over it. But DK is not just about that, and instead set about making it quite an experience in the listening. Take the title away, and you are really hard pressed into thinking what it is that you feel and see. It is a really special trip on its own, and many times, more often than not, I want more and more. It is just that far out.

"West Coast"

Starting with the feeling and idea of shooting stars on a clear night, it starts as a really soft piece of music, I suppose that you could say that melodies drive this piece all the way through it, and it stands out as a part of the "shooting stars" in between it all. A very pretty piece of music, that is soft and gentle, and you kinda want to dance to it, the type of feeling you want to have when you want something far out to last all night. Special, and non-stop!

" A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof" I may be nuts, but if there is something I always look forward to, is the any long piece of music that this band offers so many times. They are always unique and drive your mind to many places and are always very satisfying.

This piece, is the special one, and I will use Chuck Oken's words. " ... The release is a combination of the 2 layers. You could start the 2 CD's (Layer 1 & 2) on 2 separate players and Tracks 1 - 7 should line up to be the release. This was discovered during some very long artistic discussions between Gayle and myself about this project. One thing led to another and then we were doing a mix of the release without the electronics and then we did a mix of the release with just the electronics and by doing that the entire scope and vision of this project appeared. Two layer worlds combine in A Night Full Of Stars For A Roof bringing two very distinct pieces of music together."

I can only say that this piece is already slated for my night under the stars in a special place! It has a slight feeling of the early material that the band did, with the guitar sound in the background, a sort of scream from somewhere in nowhere land. But, in the end, this mix is a really special treat and experience. And you want to sit through it the whole time, and when it ends ... I want more ... not sure about you! From the electric guitar to the acoustic guitar to the electronic feeling in between that hardly feels like it, this is what this band is capable of. A special sound that defies description, because it is not one thing or the other. It is BOTH. And the musicianship is, to my ear, really well thought out and special. It's like there is nothing wrong or out of place. The stars are all there. You hear the birds here and there, and then a frog way out there somewhere, or a loud car/truck drives by, but in the end, it is a non- stop image and trip along the specter of life. Totally special and so well put together, that it is difficult to think of this as "music". For me, it feels like the inner sound of a part of my world that has way too many things in it, but somehow many of them come up and shine now and then. This piece, even without its title, is that for me.

"Dust In the Sun" "On The Third Day Arrived the Crow" "Specter of Twilight" "Night Falls"

Unlike the previous 4 pieces that start the album, these feel a bit more like a small song that was left over from some of the materials and their dual recording techniques as mentioned above. They are very melodic and pretty, and for my tastes not as "trippy", but no less attractive than the other pieces, and the special kudos goes to the last piece in the album, a wonderful close to this incredible experiment and experience that we know as Djam Karet.

A very special feeling.

A very special band.

Gayle Ellett Henry J. Osborne Mike Henderson Chuck Oken Jr

With guests: Shannon Michael Terry Todd Montgomery Mike Murray Micah Nelson Mark Cook

Note: Statements from Chuck Oken, Jr. were taken from their website.

moshkito | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this DJAM KARET review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.