California based Djam Karet are back with their first all new studio albums since 2005’s Recollection Harvest. AND next year will be the band’s 30th anniversary. These guys have produced a stellar body of work in the past three decades.
The new album consists of a single 47 minute track that is appropriately titled The Trip. The piece opens with rushing wind and multiple bleeping UFO effects. After a 1-2-3 count we hear a pleasant acoustic guitar plus spacey keyboard melodic passage, which turns out to be a brief introductory bit as we find ourselves in deep space intensity mode with cavernous soundscapes and classic Djam Karet guitar effects. Around the 12 minute mark the music transitions to a darker, moodier atmosphere, which seems to be building up to some serious rocking out. The tension lifts with a heavenly keyboard melody and howling guitar effects which string us along for a while before developing into a structured song segment and, ultimately, the rocking out I knew was on the horizon. It’s steady paced and the one guitar has a Bluesy, passionate Dave Gilmour feel, and the keyboard that soon joins recalls Rick Wright; yes, very Floyd-ish in this section. And when the big explosive rocking out hits it feels like a stoned, orchestral Pink Floyd. Lots of really great guitar solos! Around the 28 minute mark the music shifts gears again, returning to mood and atmosphere creation and we’re treated to some tasty drifting through space sensations colored by freaky electronic effects. Oh yeah… I’m looking out the window of the spacecraft at a star filled infinity. Then at the 38 minute mark the band launch into a monster rocking jam with classic Prog keys, ripping guitar solos and some chunky metallic guitar. Finally, a reprise of the opening acoustic guitar and keyboard melody signals that the trip has concluded and we have landed safely.
Djam Karet have always covered a variety of territory, including progressive rock, hard rock, space rock, psychedelia and ambient/soundscape explorations, and it all comes together on The Trip. The promo sheet references both Krautrock and Pink Floyd, and, indeed, throughout the set Pink Floyd was very much in evidence, as was the earliest Tangerine Dream, though long-time fans will recognize it all as trademark Djam Karet.
For more information you can visit the Djam Karet web site at: http://www.djamkaret.com
A few years ago I did an all Djam Karet special on Aural Innovations Space Rock Radio which is still available to hear. CLICK HERE to access the playlist page and scroll down to show #248 to get a 2 1/2 hour taste of this remarkable band.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz