DJAM KARET: Recollection Harvest (CD on Cuneiform Records)
This CD from 2006 features 72 minutes of passionate power rock.
Djam Karet is: Gayle Ellett, Mike Henderson, Chuck Oken Jr., Aaron Keyon, and Henry Osborne, with guest Mike Ostrich on one track.
This release is split into two sections, "Recollection Harvest" and "Indian Summer", which the band present as two separate albums on this single CD. The first is rich with Djam Karet's familiar zeal. The second offers a bouncier sentiment with shorter tracks that explore inventive approaches that glisten like gems scattered on a morning beach of ivory sand.
The guitars blaze with incendiary fury, growling and caterwauling with fierce command. Their outcries possess a vivid tension that is gripping and often exhaustive. While other times, the guitars step down for more sedate expressions that smolder with pensive significance. Even then, their chords are heated and assertive, cajoling focus through sly means that delve deep into the psyche and linger long after the tune has concluded.
Keyboards play surprisingly vital and versatile roles in this music, alternating between nostalgic resonance with delicate mellotron sweeps and modern charm with squealing synthesizers. Riffs are generated which imbue the tuneage with a decidedly fusionary air.
The drumming is commanding and sinuous, employing complexity to indoctrinate the engaging rhythms with a magical flair that lifts the audiences' heart as well as the tunes' velocity. Steadfast tempos can change with unpredictable wonder, plunging the tunes into fresh terrain with wild abandon.
Rumbling with subterranean vibrations, the bass cements everything into a surging unity. Sometimes, the basslines involve nimble-fingered intricacy, functioning almost as a lead instrument.
The compositions are customarily gripping and hypnotic. There are soft pieces that establish a vibrant yearning, and there are explosive tracks that threaten to explode in the listeners' ears, saturating the entire body with emphatic fervor. Both modes bear the indelible signature of Djam Karet.
RANDOM TOUCH: The Elegance of Falling (CD on Roadnoise Productions)
The release from 2005 offers 48 minutes of jazz in opposition.
Random Touch is: Scott Hamill on guitars, James Day on keyboards, and Christopher Brown on drums.
This three piece ensemble achieves a spacey form of power rock that is laced with intellectual undercurrents while delivering solid kick-ass tuneage that will appeal to all ears.
The drums produce complex rhythms, divergent and unpredictable, evoking tastes of classic fusion jazz bands. Sometimes the tempos possess a hesitant quality, foreshadowing an outburst of celestial proportions. Other times, the percussives explode with drive and strength, dazzling and exhaustive even for the audience.
The keyboards are prone to seemingly meander through cacophonic passages, then will pounce on a melody with a hungry ferocity. Soothing drones will slide into classic chords of endearing quality, melting into the background only to reemerge with sly riffs.
The guitars exhibit a fiery disposition that could peel paint with their emphatic zeal. Inventive effects convert conventional strings into bewildering punctuations.
Utilizing a wholly abstract approach, this band effortlessly converts fervent jazz into a rock motif, then imprints their own quirky style on the result. Fusing chaos and melody into hypnotic structures that smolder with humor and passion.
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