Djam Karet - #1

Year of Release: 2001
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: DKCD-001
Format: CD
Total Time: 24:02:00

#1 is a previously unreleased piece from Djam Karet that is an improvised rehearsal session from late 1985/early 1986. This is the first release in a series (which, as of this writing, numbered only 2, #2 being tracks recorded live in 1989).

The drumming and percussion of Chuck Oken, Jr. is what predominates this release, though guitarist Gayle Ellett and Mike Henderson create arty, atmospheric sonicscapes. The whole piece has, as you might expect from a band named Djam Karet, East Indian overtones. And undertones, for that matter. The piece develops from something very sparse and ambient, to something very active and dense, with a bit of discord. At one point, we get the beastly groan that I believe to me Henry Osbourne's bass. I just pictured Mr. Snuffiluffilus (spelling doesn't count) lumbering into view, while all the hyperactive children play. Flute-like trills come either from the keys or tapes that Oken is also playing. Guitars come to fore, playing somewhat sultry lines, with just a bit of distortion.

You might think you'd get bored with a track of this length, but just as you think that maybe one particular phrase has gone one a measure too long, there is shift; subtle or dramatic, it doesn't matter. In either case, you are pulled back into the flow. And knowing that this was improvised in a rehearsal, and probably never intended for release at the outset, they probably weren't thinking about whom else might listen to this. Because there is an organic flow to it, you can hear that even at this early stage in the life of Djam Karet, that this was a quartet of exceptional musicians.

One might also think that when a band releases - through their website - pieces from their "early days," that it would sound like a band just getting started. Those bits of music that one member of a band might have to make some excuse for some lackluster performance, or say "understand, we..." whatever. Not here. Nope. Now, while the material here predates The Ritual Continues, the band had already recorded (though didn't release) much of the material that appears on the oop cassette Kafka's Breakfast, as the material there dates from 1982 (released in 1988). Which is a long-winded way of saying that it is well worth checking out this CD.

#1 (24:02)

Gayle Ellett - electric guitar, guitar synth and percussion
Mike Henderson - six and twelve string guitars and percussion
Chuck Oken, Jr. - drums, keyboards, tapes, and percussion
Henry Osbourne - bass and percussion

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: September 1st 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 668
Language: english


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