Djam Karet - Live At Orion

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalog Number: Rune 119
Format: CD
Total Time: 74:22:00

Because this is Djam Karet, I went into this knowing ... at least expecting ... to like what I heard. Djam Karet are as exciting and as compelling live as they are in the studio, perhaps even more so. In the live medium, you have even more room to experiment, to jam.

This isn't a live disk in the usual sense, in that there isn't between song banter, and only occassionally sounds of an appreciative audience. So, while you don't get a true sense of a live performance, it does demonstrate that Djam Karet have got the goods live. The tracks on this set, captured at Baltimore's Orion Studios, are from just a sampling of Djam Karet's albums - The Ritual Continues (3 tracks), Reflections From The Firepool (1), Burning The Hard City (1), and The Devouring (1). Also, what I take to be a new track, the improvised "Jamin' At Mike and J's" (refering to Mike Potter and J Valenzuela of Orion Studios) in "the style of: Still No Comercial Potential

Ever since I heard Reflections I have loved Djam Karet's brand of progressive rock, and this live performance doesn't change that, except to make me even more impressed with the four musicians. Djam Karet are Gayle Ellett (guitar, keys, and effects), Mike Henderson (guitar), Chuck Oken, Jr. (drums, keys, and effects), and Henry J Osborne (basses).

Each track is a sonic journey not to be listened to casually - this is headphones music. While each track is excellent, the live versions brings an extra ... something ... a je ne sçais quoi. There is no mistaking them for studio versions, of course. Something I noticed on "Forbidden By Rule" (from The Devouring). There pace differs in some sections, the overall sound to the intstruments is different ... maybe a little jammin' thrown in for good measure ... all of which tells you that live isn't by rote. And if the tracks sounded exactly like the studio versions, note for note, what would be the point?

Actually, hearing them live gives the songs more teeth, more of an edge. I am far from disappointed, and give this a most enthusiastic thumbs up. If you haven't experienced Djam Karet before, this is an excellent place to start as it touches on their whole career and will give a clear idea of what they're about.

Technology and Industry (5:16) / Familiar Winds (12:13) / Forbidden By Rule (8:00) / Reflections From The Firepool (9:30) / Province 19: The Visage of War (8:13) / Shaman's Descent (7:33) / Jamin' At Mike & J's (14:13) / Run Cerberus Run (9:24)

Gayle Ellett - guitar, keyboards, and effects
Mike Henderson - guitar
Chuck Oken, Jr. - drums, keyboards, and effects
Henry J Osborne - basses

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: August 10th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1027
Language: english


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