Djam Karet - A night for baku - 2003

“Baku – Devourers of evil dreams and nightmares, the Baku are spirits of the dream world … the Baku search their realm for those suffering disturbing dreams and nightmares. When such an individual is encountered, the Baku will force him to enter into combat with it … If the Baku should win this dream battle, it will take the nightmares and devour them as its prize. Should it lose though, it will never again return to that person to aid his dreams.”


For years we at progVisions are telling you how great this California-based band Djam Karet is. Please read the reviews of our founder. If he is still a prog-fan, he must have bought this album by now. To be honest with you, I have only two albums of these guys in my CD cabinet. "Reflections from the firepool" (1989) and "New dark age" (2001). But this "A night for Baku" is already the 7th release on the Cuneiform Records label. This is in my opinion together with Periferic Records the most progressive label in the world of adventurous independent music. With the joining of bassist Aaron Kenyon, Djam Karet has become a quintet.


The Band:
Gayle Ellett – Electric guitar, Ebow & Slide Guitar, Organ, Analog & Digital Synths, 8 String Lute, Theremin, Field Recordings & Effects; Mike Henderson – Electric Guitars, Ebow, Synths, Field Recordings & Effects; Aaron Kenyon – Bass; Chuck Oken Jr. – Drums & Percussion, Analog & Digital Synth, Sounds & Sequences; Henry J. Osborne – Bass.


The album opens with “Dream portal” (5:26) which is a relaxed piece with a lot of melody. A positive surprise for me is that Djam Karet uses more keyboards and electronics on this album. This makes the music even more adventurous than it already was. You hear melodic guitar solo’s on top of symphonic keyboard layers. The second track “Hungry ghost” (9:17) is a monster! Heavy guitar work, snoring bass, powerful drumwork and fat synths. This heavy monster track ends in a burning climax. “Chimera moon” (7:08) starts as a mysterious ambient soundscape with some great sound samples. The band uses also voice samples in this track. Great guitar- and drumwork on top of the layer of keyboards and synths. In “Heads of Ni-oh” (8:03) a melodic guitar solo is followed by a synth solo. After this the piece develops into a big Jam-session with heavy guitar work. The track ends again with a melodic guitar solo. “Scary circus” (3:41) has a guitar/synth/bass duel. The 8 String Lute in “The falafel king” (3:23) bring some oriental atmospheres. Most tracks are seamlessly put together on this album. It is one big musical trip. “Sexy beast” (4:25) sounds very spacey with the synths and the slide guitar. After these shorter tracks we have still two long tracks to go. The first is called “Ukab maerd” (7:56) and ends with ambient soundscapes which includes a lot of sound samples. “The red thread” (10:29) is again a monster of pounding music with long guitar solo’s.


"A night for Baku" is a fantastic album. The best and most mature album I have heard from this band. The band integrates rock and ambient atmospheres into a heavy and intense musical trip. This album burns!

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - July 2003 -   - Cuneiform Records