Djam Karet: Regenerator 3017

Thirty-year anniversary release from California’s innovative instrumentalists.

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Djam Karet might be the coolest progressive instrumental group you’ve never heard of. They’re certainly prolific, with 17 studio albums to their name, and not that mainstream appeal seems a mega priority (one of the 17 is called No Commercial Potential). Regenerator 3017 promised to be a polished, confident oeuvre, the mark of a sharp, imaginative group. So, if not riches, what have three decades of quietly pioneering prog brought them?

Well, for one, a taste for jazz, if Prince Of The Inland Empire is anything to go by. Think cool-school bass-lines, clean guitar syncopation and images of very hip California beach parties at sunset, after the surfers have gone home and the louche musos are arriving. (Then, you could happily slink around to Living In The Future Past in a trench-coat and trilby.)

Waves of psychedelic classic rock add warmth to the songs like Empty House, and there are echoes of earlier, experimental Porcupine Tree appear in prog-meets-jazz-meets-ambient passages, along with King Crimson-esque moments of peace.

In all, an accomplished record wrought from veteran hands, balancing progressive intricacies with spacious clarity.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.