Progressive space rockers Djam Karet have seemingly been around forever, delivering unique, often times jaw dropping displays of atmospheric, jammy, space rock/prog-rock excursions on a long line of solid albums. To much of the world however, they remain completely unknown, but within the underground progressive rock community they have been a much loved and respected band for quite some time. The Trip is their latest release, a CD comprised of one long 47 minute title track. Quite meditative with tranquil soundscapes, spacey keyboard flutterings, and liquid guitar lines & textures, The Trip lacks the more raucous Djam Karet arrangements from some of their previous releases, but still shows them in fine form delivering soothing, atmospheric & spacey material. Gayle Ellet once again provides much of the framework here with his arsenal of analog & digital synths, organ, Mellotron, bouzouki, flute, recorders, and effects (he's turned over guitar duties it seems), but his instruments are used more to create colors and textures rather than lead melodies. The same can be said for guitarists Mike Henderson & Mike Murray, as well as bassist Aaron Kenyon, as their axes create lush cascades of intriguing sounds and effects, not really charging through the mix with any sort of King Crimson styled angular thunder till much later in the epic track, which for some might be bit of a disappointment if you are looking here for six-string heroics. Chuck Oken's percussion work is outstanding yet completely understated; again, just like the rest of the band he's more going for adding colors and textures rather than bombast.
Fans of some of the early works of Tangerine Dream or Pink Floyd will no doubt find lots to love here, however, if you need melody and song structure in your progressive rock there's a good chance that 47 minutes of "The Trip" might wear at your patience level a little. Got to give Djam Karet credit though for putting together a epic piece of music that's basically a 'middle finger' to the music masses and mainly for themselves and their ever loyal fan base.
1) The Trip (47:08)