"PICK ME....PICK ME!!!
I gotta new CD too!
It called "The Heavy Soul Sessions". It is the 15th CD released by our instrumental group during the past 26 years we've been together.
If you want a promo copy, just ask…"
Djam Karet was founded in 1984, and has released 15 full-length albums, including their newest (2010) "The Heavy Soul Sessions" (as well as an additional 16 minor releases and EPs and compilations, see the Discography below). The California-based instrumental group has often been called America's greatest undiscovered band. Compared by the press with King Crimson, Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine Tree, they are credited with breathing new life into Progressive rock, leading the way to the genre's future growth. Impressively, such high praise comes from widely divergent sources; Djam Karet has been written up in mainstream music publications such as BILLBOARD and ROLLING STONE, and in prestigious musician-oriented publications such as ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN, KEYBOARD, CD REVIEW, and GUITAR PLAYER, and also in numerous magazines, fanzines and webzines published for the indie/non-commercial rock communities. They have also scored numerous TV shows on ESPN, ABC-TV and other networks, as well as many small film projects and commercials. RELIX Magazine recently noted that Djam Karet, "has always been the ultimate jamband...just a little ahead of its time." EXPOSE' asserted that Djam Karet was "Arguably the most important band of the last decade, and certainly the most unique" and placed the band "at the forefront of their instrumental genre". Put simply by NEW AGE VOICE: "Djam Karet is no ordinary band. They gobble up myriad influences...including New Age, fusion, hard rock, electronic music, world, blues, even surf music...and metamorphose them into fascinating musical hybrids. They have never made the same album twice." With the release of their newest release, Recollection Harvest, Djam Karet makes their strongest statement yet, and shows the world their uncompromising drive and vision.
Djam Karet was founded in 1984 by guitarists Gayle Ellett and Mike Henderson, bassist Henry J. Osborne, and drummer Chuck Oken, Jr. They chose as the band's name an Indonesian word (pronounced 'jam care-RAY) that translates loosely as "elastic time". Early Djam Karet was a proto-"jam band" whose live, totally improvised performances on the southern California/LA area college circuit featured a free-form mixture of guitar-dominated instrumental rock and textural Eastern drone music, as on their 1985 release No Commercial Potential. Djam Karet's mode of working and repertoire gradually expanded beyond improvisation to include compositional elements, field recordings, and studio work. In 1987 the band released The Ritual Continues, which was chosen "Number 2 Album Of The Year" by ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN magazine. Two years later, they released Reflections From The Firepool (now available from Cuneiform Records), which received ROLLING STONE's accolade of " Number 2 Independent Album Of The Year".
In 1991, the band released two separate CDs at the same time: Burning The Hard City and Suspension & Displacement which "show-cased the band's two extreme split personalities...The former was a bone-crushing excursion into heavy power rock with anarchistic guitar solos, and the latter was a brilliant diary of dark, eerie ambient soundscapes." (EXPOSE'). Three years later in 1994, Djam Karet released the CD Collaborator, with guests musicians: Jeff Greinke, Kit Watkins, Marc Anderson, Steve Roach, Carl Weingarten, and many others.
As the 20th Century drew to a close, Djam Karet signed with Cuneiform Records, and entered a period of unprecedented creative productivity that only accelerated as the 21st century dawned. It began working on new releases for Cuneiform, initiated a program to repackage and reissue its back catalogue on Cuneiform, and began playing live on the festival circuit. Live shows were performed at Day Zero for 1999's ProgDay (San Francisco); at NEARfest 2001, progressive rock's premier US showcase; ProgWest 2001 (Claremont) and at 2002's ProgDay (North Carolina). Throughout the years they have also contributed music to 10 compilation releases, both here and in Europe. Many of those tunes are available nowhere else.
When Cuneiform released its first Djam Karet CD in 1997 titled The Devouring, INNERVIEWS noted that Djam Karet is "back with a vengeance, one hell of an album". SPACE.com applauded their expanded sound featuring more keyboards: "As if the band's earlier music hadn't already scorched the ceilings of heaven, this new sonic incarnation burned like a stellar nova." In 1998, Djam Karet performed on the West and East Coasts, recordings a live album for Cuneiform titled Live At Orion, released in 1999, that was applauded as "one of the best live recordings that I've heard" and was chosen as "Top 10 Album of 1999" by EXPOSE' Magazine. The band began to do more work in the studio, resulting in the 2001 release of New Dark Age (Cuneiform) and also the Limited Edition CD release Ascension. Numerous critics called New Dark Age Djam Karet's best to date. In the words of PROGRESSION: "This may be the best Djam Karet recording yet, which is a mouthful, considering that the band's now-voluminous output is amply studded with gems. Their brilliant synthesis of abstract mind-trip and concrete butt-kick is at an all-time high here. Sonically, ...it is simply masterful. This is one of the major releases of the year."
Around the same time as New Dark Age's release, and complementary to its work with Cuneiform, Djam Karet launched a series of self-released CD-Rs, reissues and limited edition CDs for its fans. Within two years, the band had self-released numerous CD projects, including recordings made at New York City's The Knitting Factory, an on-air performance recorded at KCRW-FM, and other archival performances. Out of this creative renaissance arose A Night For Baku. As a distillation of their musical visions across 20 years, A Night For Baku is indeed a diamond in Djam Karet's oeuvre, a true Djam Karet "classic", and featured the addition of new band member Aaron Kenyon on bass. The title derives from Japanese folklore: the Baku are mythical inhabitants of the dream world, valiant warriors who devour nightmares as the spoils of battle. The CD features Djam Karet using more keyboards and electronics, and collaborating on one track with Electronic musician Steve Roach, who worked previously with the band on Collaborator.
It is this new line up as a quintet that created Recollection Harvest, their best and most melodic album yet. Actually two albums on one CD, Recollection Harvest is divided into two chapters. The first-half is filled with their most melodic and jazzy music released so far, with a strong focus on composition and tight arrangements, Mellotrons and soulful guitar melodies. The second-half, titled Indian Summer, features a collection of compositions colored with beautiful acoustic guitars and analog synths, and showcases their more atmospheric side. Together, this release demonstrates the broad and varied world that is Djam Karet. A group that is constantly and consistently growing and expanding their own unique universe.
Discover for yourself the music that is Djam Karet.
Discography Major Releases:
2010: The Heavy Soul Sessions
2005: Recollection Harvest
2004: Live At NEARfest 2001
2003: A Night For Baku
2001: New Dark Age
1999: Live At Orion
1998: Still No Commercial Potential
1997: The Devouring
1991: Suspension & Displacement
1991: Burning The Hard City
1989: Reflections From The Firepool
1987: The Ritual Continues
1985/2004: No Commercial Potential...And Still Getting The Ladies
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