Djam Karet - New Dark Age

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalog Number: Rune 149
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:26:00

Djam Karet is certainly not an obscure name in the field of progressive rock anymore. With a load of albums and years to its credit, the band has often been referenced to as a cross-combination of King Crimson and Pink Floyd, but that hardly does the band's style any justice. Djam Karet is simply Djam Karet. There is no better way to describe the band's sound, an eclectic range of instrumental atmospheres that run the gamut from jagged progressive rock to jazzier elements of greater comfort and include plain weird moments in between.

And with New Dark Age, the band continues to pursue its experimental nuances in the way of slowly evolving instrumentals that range from the spacey dissonance of "Web Of Medea" to the stressful fusion arrangements of "All Clear" without forsaking any coherence. Furthermore, Djam Karet remains hardly shy to bizarre noises and samples, which, combined with the band's uncanny ability for creating lengthy thematic and pseudo-minimalist instrumentals, gives this album a uniquely original musical perspective. One that surrounds the listener in layered textures of sound that come floating out of the speakers and seem to reach out for one in enticing waves of sound.

Credit must especially be given to the group's perfectly balanced instrumentation, which will have a guitar line fading out while another one glides right into the mix and thus creates a virtual legato feeling that subdues the music of New Dark Age into a gentle and even flow. And while it is true that some of the material found on the album, particularly the demented groove of "No Man's Land," is progressive rock immersed in a harsh tone, the general mood remains one of instrumental reflection. Even the visceral guitar solos that keep appearing throughout the record seem to interweave with the approach, just like the sparse and atmospheric "Kali's Indifference" does.

You might be wondering why I didn't give the album a higher grade then. Here's why: because something is amiss throughout the course of New Dark Age; namely the lack of a certain element of surprise that deceivingly appears to be there during the course of "No Man's Land," but which soon fades into distant memory. The performance is wonderful, the style unique, and the band is not pining away, but New Dark Age just lacks that spark that etches music into one's mind forever.

Similar artists: Kong

No Man's Land (4:43) / Eclipse Of Faith (2:43) / Web Of Medea (7:04) / Demon Train (2:56) / All Clear (8:31) / Raising Orpheus (6:56) / Kali's Indifference (2:28) / Alone With The River Man (8:03) / Going Home (9:55) / Eulogy (2:13)

Gayle Ellett - electric guitar, mellotron, synthesizers, field recordings, effects
Chuck Oken Jr. - drums, percussion, synthesizers
Henry J. Osborne - bass, percussion
Mike Henderson - guitars, acoustic and electronic percussion, synthesizers, field recordings, effects

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: July 30th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 800
Language: english


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