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Djam Karet - Swamp Of Dreams CD (album) cover

SWAMP OF DREAMS

Djam Karet

 

Eclectic Prog

4.59 | 7 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars For over thirty years now, Californian band Djam Karet have been offering an eclectic variety of instrumental prog rock, covering every style from psychedelic, electronic, ambient, space music and even blues, frequently in the form of completely improvised jamming performances. With a string of superb releases in their back catalogue, and their two most recent works (the spacerock/electronic-infused `The Trip' and the retro flavours of `Regenerator 3017') being especially wonderful, the group have decided to release a vinyl-length stop-gap compilation, `Swamp of Dreams', bringing together assorted rarer stand-alone pieces taken from a range of unrelated compilations spanning the years 1990 to 2006.

`Voodoo Chases The Muse' opens the disc with gutsy slow-burn bluesy snaking electric guitar over liquefied Ozric Tentacles-like gurgling synths, with playful jazzy licks and funky bass sauntering throughout. `The Shattering Sky' presents atmospheric Tangerine Dream-like electronic ticking ambience and droning King Crimson-flecked guitar notes behind brooding heavy Mellotron choirs and bass purring wickedly along the backdrop, but the abrupt quickie fade-out that comes out of nowhere mid-guitar solo is heartbreaking!

Electronic washes and calming acoustic guitar ruminations blend with tribal percussion and a heavy beat that builds in urgency throughout `Pentimento' as strangled Crimson-esque guitar distortion grinds away, and the twitching electronic violations and ebbing/humming drifts in the manner of the early Klaus Schulze works of `New Light on the Dark Age' twist together with tribal- like beats, mangled guitar and an addictive repeated whirring synth theme.

The haunting and dream-like `Inventions of the Monsters' is a crystalline drone that is both ethereal and eerie, and oddly, with its pristine icy synths, buoyant bass and up-tempo drive, the heroic and symphonic title-track closer `Swamp of Dreams' quickly reminds of the Neo Prog bands and could have easily come off almost any early IQ album!

Despite all the scattered tracks originating from over a sixteen-year period, there's still a strong flow that ensures the 44 minute CD works perfectly as a stand-alone album, and while the above mentioned `The Trip' and `Regenerator 3017' stand taller in their discography, `Swamp of Dreams' is simply a great collection of cool instrumental pieces with great playing from a talented group! An easy high recommendation for instrumental prog lovers, let's hope for a second volume of these sort of collected pieces from Djam Karet in the near future!

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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