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Djam Karet

The Trip

Review by Gary Hill

A few albums this time around have been mildly disappointing to me. This is one of them. Mind you, it’s not that it’s a bad album necessarily. I was just expecting a lot more from Djam Karet. I mean, I always have liked this outfit. And, this disc has some great moments. It’s just that the extended single track that makes this up tends to be too slow to grow and change and doesn’t have that many moments that really shine. I found myself waiting and waiting for something to happen a lot of the time. All that said, I do still like this album. It’s good. I was just expecting great, and it isn’t that.

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Track by Track Review
The Trip

Effects and ambience start this and it grows gradually upward in mellow psychedelic weirdness. Then some melody emerges and this feels quite a bit like old Pink Floyd. That never really takes hold, though, and they drop it back to atmospherics. Then a new Floydian element starts to emerge, again tentatively. This one is more along the lines of Meddle or Wish You Were Here era. This sound eventually sort of drops away, too. This time, though, it seems to come back reinvented a little. It’s still all tentative as it grows, though. A little before the eight minute mark it seems to get reinvented as some keyboard textures take control. Gradually things grow out from there. By the eleven and a half minute mark that’s also faded away and we’re back to just atmosphere. Then we get into some of the strangest, most atmospheric sounds of the set. By around the fifteen minute mark some melody threatens to rise up and take over, but again, it doesn’t really develop. In the vicinity of the eighteen minute mark, the first drums rise up and we get some rocking guitar climbing up from the abyss. It works out in a rather Pink Floyd-like way with some of the first real melody emerging here as that guitar solos. This grows gradually, but it also becomes the first real rock music of the set. As keyboards dance over the top later that comparisons to Floyd’s Wish You Were Here are even more apparent. That section eventually ends around the 28 minute mark. Then an ominous soundscape emerges. As that works out it has some rather classical elements to it. After a few minutes moving forward in that direction, it drops way down to just atmosphere again. Around the 33 minute mark it feels like we might be ready to move into the “Star Trek” theme. Instead, more atmospheric sounds take over. Around the 38 minute mark this powers out into the second real rocking section. It’s a cool jam band meets Pink Floyd kind of movement that has some great moments. There are moments here that even lean towards metal. There is some killer guitar work and some awesome space keyboard sounds. As this continues hints of things like Yes emerge along with a lot of fusion. This jam finally ends around the 45 minute mark and the sound effects take it to a mellower, melodic progressive rock section. That section takes the piece to its close after the 47 minute mark.

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