Djam Karet -- The Trip (47.08) (2013)

There was a time and place, when I thought that taking a trip required ... something ... to get you going, to get you excited, to allow yourself a moment of madness, of insanity, of ... sometimes there are no words for it ... moments when your inner self, simply goes away with some magickal enchantment, that none of us can properly define, but we love to spend time on it. I can tell you in my mind, how many times I sat down and listened to two very long pieces by Pink Floyd, Amon Duul 2 and others, in 1972 and 1973, and how much I enjoyed them under many conditions.

One of the things I learned was to simply close your eyes, and just let the movie happen ... let it pass by you ... and I did. For several years, I listened intently, quietly and introvertedly to these things ... until one day, I knew what the reflections from this firepool of a body were making suggestions that you were all about! The music, happened to be the enzyme that carries you there ... the actual train, as the notes on the flyer suggest, or the virtual rocket that takes you into the stratosphere, where you are ever the camera looking at ... the sky opens once, twice, three times ... and you groom your own psychosis now and then, wondering what all this ritual continuing is all about! Some of us love all that, though some are afraid of it.

I had never called, any of these a "trip", surprisingly enough, and I still do not look at them as a "trip", as I consider that "inner" side as important as the outer side, and thus I have always looked at my experience as a city with two tales, or a person with a mind awake and one asleep! And that is reversed during the night when your dream portal awakens!

I may have, over the years, lost (something or other), but not forgotten what all this felt like, and the river of no return is really what it all became for me ... the salmon might return, but we never did ... we could "remember" that moment, but we could not re-live it. It became a sacred land arose from the ashes ... a hungry ghost that still gathered your attention now and then ... swimming in a big sky, that never ended, seemed to have some dark clouds, but no rain ... always beautiful if we could take a screenshot of it all ... the ultimate dream portal in one's life.

So, it was quite a nice surprise, when I set about listening to "The Trip" ... and found that I was not going to have a single break, and that I was just going to have to close my eyes, and arise from the ashes of my inner slumber, and go camping with my friends in a new land, a sort of no man's land for those that are afraid ... but a visual treat that asks for a new sign, that might even say ... "for mad persons only".

So it is, with this piece of music. It's hard to believe that you just about do not hear the drums for at least 15 minutes, but it tells you that we're not in a hurry, that the band does not have to show off its musical prowess to impress you with the music! This is not about the music per se ... it's about the ability to enjoy a ... well ... a trip ... from here to ... and if you have the patience to enjoy and appreciate a continuity of sounds telling you a story that you can create similar to the one I just told you, then this is for you and then some.

It's too easy to say that this is just like those old days 40 years ago, when you had Pink Floyd doing these long things, you had Krautrock doing some eye-popping live experimentations, and of course, you had some reviewers telling you that something sounded like a washing machine, too, but they never bothered to go listen to their wives' washing machine doing their laundry ... later Faust in Germany made sure we knew the difference!

It might be suggested that during these 47 minutes or so, that a lot of different moods and styles come and go, and have your head go all Michelangelo, but in the end, amidst all the parts, that I refuse to call "solos" ... to me they are NOT, they are a visual illustration of the music's own story! ... there are many moments where you can hear many different areas of this band ... I can hear "Collaborator" once or twice, I can hear "Burning the Hard City" once or twice, I can hear ... many different parts, but ... what I'm hearing is not even related to those early parts ... this has a life of its own.

If there is a favorite part of this, for me, is the "No Commercial Potential" idea ... this is a complete piece that starts and comes to an end 48 minutes later ... if you are used to a more commercial concept and idea of music, you will not likely enjoy this at all, and the total dedication to the continuity of this piece until it's time is up, is excellent, and mature, and only shows that you have a band that is capable of defining and designing its music to be something ... that most of us will rarely listen to, hear, or look for.

This is DJam Karet at its best. Scary isn't it? 25 years of great music ... and still the light shines!

Of special note here, and one of the great things about this group, is the way that the guitars compliment each other. You are not likely to hear two more different guitars do so much and alternate parts so strongly as they do here, together, or separately! As I used to say, this is a welcome to the church of the electric guitar ... but now I have to update the statement to "welcome to the church of the inner language courtesy of Djam Karet!"

On the press release, there were some notes that give you a better idea of how "progressive" this band is, and how they did this work which has almost always been a throwback to the 1970's and the energy that those folks had when they did their work. You'll be glad to know that never has it sounded so good, and that "progressive" is alive and well in the hands of a group that knows what it means ... and makes sure they can take you there!

That name? Djam Karet. The album? "The Trip".

Sometimes, listening to music is an experience ... for which there are not enough words, there are not enough paints, and there are not enough notes ... with which to describe it. All you can do is ... sit ... and listen ... and then listen some more ... and then listen some more ... and this is what all the best trips always do you to and I, isn't it?




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