Maskit Chamber, The - The 4th Wave

Year of Release: 2001
Label: TMC
Catalog Number: TMC 999
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:25:00

As opposed to Heaven Machine which consists of ten shorter pieces of music, Djam Karet guitarist and keyboard player Gayle Ellett tries to deliver the ultimate progressive rock solo album by means of The 4th Wave. Only consisting of one track lasting just over 50 minutes, it's the closest Ellett can get to the classical approach with his music.

There are only 30 seconds of additional keyboards by Mike Rafferty included throughout this recording. The rest, once again, is all courtesy of Gayle, whether it concerns Moog or Mellotron, African hand drums or 12-string acoustic guitar, wind-up music box or answering machine - it's all there. Gayle describes his lengthy composition as "a dreamy journey for your mind as you travel through a never-ending mosaic pattern of barren deserts and swampy bug infested jungles and mingle with exotic urban crowds and howling coyotes." So expect a perfect blend of world music, ambient, electronic, and progressive, which would be ideal as a soundtrack. So why not close your eyes and let the music take you on its magical wings from one side of the world to the other, from one side of the universe to the other.

The sound of the acoustic twelve string is crystal clear and a treat to your ears, especially if you're wearing headphones (this album is a divine headphone experience!). Seen as a cross between Pink Floyd's Ummagumma and Fripp & Eno's Evening Star, this album also includes its fair share of traditional ethnic instruments such as oud, gimbri, lute, suling, slit drum, wooden flute and clabbers, all to give it an extra dimension, a feeling even the best samples couldn't produce. Again Ellett embraces his analogue synths and often picks up his distorted guitar as known throughout Djam Karet's career to distinctively mark it with his exclusive audio initials. Seventeen minutes into the track and Gayle displays heavenly Mellotron that seems to take over the entire aural landscape, overwhelming as only Mellotrons can! Then it's full steam ahead for the ambient feel which hails back to the cosmic heydays of Ashra and Klaus Schulze, whilst also adding the tapeloop frenzy as made immortal by Robert Fripp.

Out of the synthesized wind comes the sound of a solitary acoustic guitar and it doesn't take you long to stand face to face with that famous joshua tree. Forty minutes into the piece and dogs are barking at industrial noise which gives Ellett all the scope to fiddle with the Moog's modulation. In fact, the latter experiment comes closer to McCartney's audio "collage" released as Liverpool Sound Collage than what we have known as Djam Karet for all these years. Whilst the first half of this disc (aka composition) sounded interesting and diverse, the final part is a long stretch of sounds with very little things actually happening.

Again, it's sad to know that, once the initial 250 copies are sold out, this release will be forever out-of-print. Hopefully, in centuries to come, aliens will unearth this beauty and send it to the other side of the universe by means of transcendental MP3!

The 4th Wave (50:25)

Gayle Ellett - everything!
Mike Rafferty - additional keyboards

Heaven Machine (2001)
The 4th Wave (2001)

Genre: Electronic

Origin US

Added: January 1st 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 575
Language: english


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