Exposé Online banner

Djam Karet — Regenerator 3017
(HC Productions HC017, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 2014-03-07:

Regenerator 3017 Cover art

Djam Karet’s latest (their 17th album) is meant to be something of a celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary together, featuring all the original band members – that means Henry Osborne on bass instead of Aaron Kenyon, who is still a member of the band, just not featured on this one. For anyone familiar with the band’s first cassette release No Commercial Potential from 1985 (since reissued on CD), the seven tracks here underscore how far the band has come in the years since, evolving from purveyors of well-rehearsed jams into masters of superbly refined compositions and equally concise instrumental interplay, and they have stuck to their guns as far as presenting a musical palette sans vocals. For all of its refinement, Regenerator 3017 presents a more laid-back, bluesy and funky sound than what we’ve heard from this band before, the result being a refreshing adjustment in their trajectory. Embracing a more bluesy sound on “Lost Dreams,” the guitars drive strong melodic solos in tandem with keyboard support, often recalling elements of the pre-Dark Side of the Moon era of Pink Floyd or even Robin Trower. “Living in the Future Past” has funky all over it, with walking bass, Rhodes, and Mellotron supporting some positively dreamy jazz guitar leads with powerful Minimoog-driven melodies as well, perhaps the album’s standout tune. The band has made a point of not introducing any studio computer manipulation or compression to the production and mix, thus everything is heard as it is played. Frankly I have no problem with a certain amount of compression, but in this case the band’s choice on the matter seems to suit the overall sound well. Flute patches on “Wind Pillow” along with the soaring lead guitars give the piece a distinct Camel vibe, while riding along on a dreamy groove that is instantly captivating. There’s too much good here to itemize every single highlight in a review, but the more one listens and builds familiarity with these seven cuts, the more this disc reveals its substantive essence.


by Henry Schneider, 2014-06-17:

Djam Karet has been around for 30 years and they’ve just released their 17th full length album Regenerator 3017. The core members Gayle Ellett, Mike Henderson, Chuck Oken Jr., and Henry J. Osborne are still playing together. Over the years the band has experimented with different styles and what we have on Regenerator 3017 is very mature and laid back progressive jazz fusion. These are accomplished musicians who are very comfortable playing music with each other. The music is soothing and a joy to experience. There are many different things happening that are intelligently integrated into these seven instrumental tracks. I found the best moments on this disc to be part of “Wind Pillow” with its quiet melodic music and Gayle’s Mellotron. Most of the time they’ve split the guitar solos with Gayle on the left, Mike Murray in the middle, and Mike Henderson on the right. But you would have to listen very carefully to notice this separation. It took Djam Karet about 18 months to perfect the pristine sound quality on this disc without the use of compression or computer manipulation. Clearly Regenerator 3017 is a labor of love.

Filed under: New releases , 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Djam Karet, Mike Henderson, Chuck Oken, Gayle Ellett

More info

Latest news

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Underground Railroad - The Origin of Consciousness – I found the Underground Railroad’s debut CD to be an uneven affair. Some parts were very good, others less interesting, and in general, the band seemed to be in search of a direction. With their...  (2006) » Read more

Cursive - The Ugly Organ – Last year many in the prog community embraced The Mars Volta and their infusion of prog ideas (and excesses) into alternative/indie American rock. Cursive is another band making the same kinds of...  (2004) » Read more

Marathon - Sublime Dreams – Why do they do that? I hate that! On Sublime Dreams, Marathon commits the cardinal sin of having vocals in a language that they don't quite have in their grasp. The lyrics appear to have been...  (1995) » Read more

Yney - Micro Macro – Russian electronic musicians tend to be a bit different from German, British, and American artists. Yney is Russian for "hoarfrost," but their music is far from being cold, crystalline, or...  (2011) » Read more

Kennelmus - Folkstone Prism – Something of a last gasp for psychedelia, this Phoenix quartet’s self-released 1971 debut proved to be their sole vinyl offering. Though originally conceived as a rock opera, most of the...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues