Exposé Online banner

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

by Henry Schneider, 2014-06-17:

Regenerator 3017 Cover art 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.

by Peter Thelen, 2014-03-07:

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-DSOTM 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.

Filed under: New releases , 2014 releases

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

More info

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Groovector - Darklubing at Tavastia – From time to time I see a band criticized for not realizing what their own strengths are, for moving out of the area where they shine. I’m wary of that kind of reasoning, as it should be the...  (2005) » Read more

Lesli Dalaba / Fred Frith / Eric Glick Rieman / Carla Kihlstedt - Dalaba Frith Glick Rieman Kihlsted – Another super group of improvisers meet at the crossroads with this collection of seven dialogs. Fred Frith is well known to our readers as a proprietor of real time inspirational chaos while Lesli...  (2004) » Read more

Ozone Player - Frozen Paint on Boiling Canvas – What an opener for an album! I’m talking about “The Sprawl.” Fine sounds, imaginative sequencing, nimble-fingered playing, stunning composition. Ozone Player is a composer from...  (2006) » Read more

Various Artists - Summoning of the Muse - A Tribute to Dead Can Dance – Dead Can Dance have had a profound impact upon musicians around the world, with a fame that has grown steadily since Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard issued their first album in 1984. Newly reactivated...  (2006) » Read more

Christian Décamps - Psychédelice – So... what to make of this? One of the most famous lead singers in the history of European prog has recorded a solo album... of instrumental music (well, almost – there’s one track with...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues