Djam Karet - No Commercial Potential - 2004


Now it´s time to talk about true progressive rock, not about sympho or related styles. Djam Karet are, like King Crimson, Runaway Totem, Isildurs Bane, Magma and other distinguished lunatics, tooth and nail defenders of the constant quest for new musical expressions. In fact, and this is not the first time I state this, probably Djam Karet is one of the riskiest and most interesting progressive bands nowadays.

Please visit and there you´ll read everything about this band and its discography. In the same way there are some reviews in progVisions. In short Djam Karet has an “accessible” side in its studio discography (all of their albums are interesting). Of course the studio discography must be completed with live albums and albums with improvisations, like this one I´m reviewing that contents the “No Commercial Potential” (85) along with more than fifty minutes of new improvisations entitled ... and still getting the ladies, recorded in 2002.


The first Cd has three tracks played by Gayle Ellett (guitars), Mike Henderson (guitars), Chuck Oken Jr (drums, percussion), and Henry Osborne (bass). First track, “Where´s L. Ron??!!” (16:52), is an amazing track who starts with a band´s warm-up in the first minutes. Suddenly an orgy of possessed rhythms and impossible solos played by virtuosos. More Crimson-like and with a higher improvisation spirit is “Dwarf Toss” (11:16), where guitars led the journey. Finally “Blue Fred” (29:42) is an atmospheric and spacey attack right between the listener´s ears.. a sort of chaos under control, and great skill. I have no words to describe the music of these guys, I can only say that once you´ve listened to this band, you´ll know that everything isn´t already written.

The second Cd also contains three improvisations by Ellet, Henderson and Oken (also playing synths) recorded during “A night for Baku” (03) sessions. Osborne plays bass in the first cut “The Building” (20:03), and here we can listen to the most atmospheric Karet, while the music takes us to the album “Suspension and Displacement”; calm music with lots of atmospheres and synths. The initial notes develop until some arpeggio variations and guitars with delay and reverb. The last five minutes are more energetic. The second track, “The Door” (7:56), has also that atmospheric sound, but with sinister and macabre mood. In the last song “The Window” (27:22) Aaron Kenyon plays bass. Seven minutes of tranquility and relaxing atmospheres are suddenly broken by the drums. Guitars are getting heavier and the cymbals enriches the track. Around minute 14 the song is already a bizarre blend of hard rock and progressive music at its best.


Again another masterpiece from these US genius, masters of chaos, melody and skill. As the cover states “We talk in pictures, not in words”. If you´ve already experienced “The Devouring”, “Burning the Hard City” or “A Night for Baku”, it´s time for you to listen to Karet in its element, improvisation.

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - October 2004 -   - Djam Karet [HC Productions]