Djam Karet - Recollection Harvest

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalog Number: Rune 219
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:36:00

It was not so long ago that the members of Djam Karet embarked on an attempt at world conquest with their blisteringly excellent A Night For Baku, which saw the band updating its aural attack to an approach much more in touch with the needs of the new millenium. It was good. It was savage. One thing it wasn't: dated. So one can't help but be sort of confused at Recollection Harvest, which not only features a compositional approach that would have been more at home thirty years ago, but which also suffers a setback in quality of sound when compared to its predecessor. Bad it isn't. But great neither.

Consisting of what the band calls two different albums, a statement which's logic is immediately apparent when one compares their respective characters, Recollection Harvest is further curious in that the oft-abused reference point of Pink-Floyd-meets-King-Crimson is completely appropriate this time around. At least for the first half, that is. Pieces of "The Packing House" could have come straight out of Floyd's Animals, and the band often switches gears into vintage Crimsonian grind, albeit not half as convincingly. In fact, in view of the lackluster heavier sections, it is the Floydesque moments of the first six tracks that take the spotlight; especially the gorgeously placid middle section of "Dr. Money" and its unforgettably pretty melody. Other than that, there is not much to write home about, as even two fifths of the first album - the tracks "The Gypsy And The Hegemon" and "Recollection Harvest" - pretty much sound like generic Seventies prog filler.

So what about the second one, otherwise known as Indian Summer? Well, "Open Roads" is mildly interesting, and "The Great Plains Of North Dakota" features a gorgeous series of interlocking acoustic guitars that remind yours truly of the not-so-recently reviewed band Might Could. Otherwise, not much luck here either. Even despite an approach rather close to Djam Karet friend Carl Weingarten, the band seems only half-awake throughout the proceedings, and the resulting material feels rather uninspired. In fact, were it not for the fact that the members of Djam Karet are veteran enough to pull something good out of general tedium, their latest release would have been quite the slumberfest. A real shame, as the Bartók-like drone opening to "The March To The Sea Of Tranquility" had yours truly already salivating, but true greatness rarely adorns every release of a band's career. Unfortunately, Recollection Harvest proves that point all too well.

Similar artists: Kong, Mind Gallery, Carl Weingarten

Recollection Harvest: The March To The Sea Of Tranquillity (7:18) / Dr. Money (7:12) / The Packing House (11:11) / The Gypsy And The Hegemon (9:20) / Recollection Harvest (10:06) / Indian Summer: Indian Summer (4:10) / Open Roads (4:57) / The Great Plains Of North Dakota (3:13) / Dark Oranges (3:44) / Twilight In Ice Canyon (5:16) / Requiem (4:16)

Gayle Ellett - guitars, organ, mellotron, lute, ebow, synthesizers, programming, Theremin, percussion, effects
Chuck Oken Jr. - drums, percussion, synthesizers, soundworlds, sequencing
Henry J. Osborne - bass, guitar, percussion
Mike Henderson - guitars, ebow, synthesizers, programming, sequencing, percussion, effects
Aaron Kenyon - bass, mellotron, synthesizers, bass drum


Michael Ostrich - melodic lead synth lines (11)

No Commercial Potential (1985) (Out-of-print)
Kafka's Breakfast (1987) (Out-of-print)
The Ritual Continues (1989)
Reflections In The Firepool (1989)
Burning The Hard City (1991/2000)
Suspension and Displacement (1991/2000)
Collaborator (1994)
The Devouring (1997)
Still No Commerical Potential (1998)
Live at Orion (1999)
New Dark Age (2001)
Ascension (2001)
#1 (2001) (via band only)
#2 (2001) (via band only)
Afghan: Live At The Knitting Factory (2001) (via band only)
A Night For Baku (2003)
Live At NEARfest 2001 (2004)
No Commercial Potential (expanded) (2004)
Recollection Harvest (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: March 5th 2006
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1569
Language: english


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