Djam Karet was formed some thirty years ago, while its founders were attending college in southern California, and ever since then, has the band consistently been a trailblazer for non-commercial music.
Regenerator 3017 is their 17th album and it is, once again, an instrumental one. A second, remarkable point is that all the original band members are still playing on this album, being Gayle Ellet on electric guitar and keyboards, Mike Henderson on electric guitar, Henry Osborne on bass, Chuck Oken jr on drums and Mike Murray on electric guitar also. Djam Karet plays a style of music that ROLLING STONE magazine described as: Pink Floyd ian dreamscapes with the jagged complexity of King Crimson and the improvised guitar happiness of the Grateful Dead.
Regenerator 3017 has a pleasant start with Prince Of The Inland Empire; a pumping bass for a beginning, followed by A Camel-esque guitar solo and a Hammond organ, played in the vein of the old Dutch masters Focus . A short flute solo brings the song back to Camel again. More jazzy is the song Living In The Future Past , but still very delightful and cheery; no heavy stuff to listen to. Desert Varnish is totally different. In the first part of the song you can hear a very sharp electric guitar in a slow, waddling synthesizer surrounding. The second part has more tension and suspense in a busy musical landscape. It is experimental and reminds me of Robert Fripp's King Crimson. All the musical things I like in Camel return in the song Wind Pillow and the shortest, space song Lost Dreams, is very tasteful too. The last two songs, Empty House and On The Edge Of The Moon, could easily be a short suite; dramatic, slow and romantic. So no heavy and difficult parts and every single instrument was given its own solo. That's the way I like instrumental progressive rock music; no difficult musical themes, just straight forward.
There is only one, right conclusion to come to after hearing Regenerator 3017. No. 17 by Djam Karet is a collection of seven excellent tracks.
**** Cor Smeets (edited by Esther Ladiges)
Where to buy?