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TRACK LIST: 1. Time Flies Like an Arrow 4:19 2. Channeling 0:41 3. Assassin in Sin 4:24 4. Neo Skin 4:11 5. Mood 5:51 6. Nest 6:44 7. Time Flies Like an Arrow II 5:00 8. Hz 6:00 9. Pliable Clockwork 2:08 10. The Care 6:20 11. To India 15:43 All tracks: by Djamra. Produced by Djamra. Engineered by Y. Hazima & A. Minamimoto. LINE-UP: Masaharu Nakakita - bass Shinji Kitamura - saxophone Dai Akahani - trumpet Akihiro Emomoto - drums
Prolusion. "Transplantation" is the second studio album by the young Japanese band Djamra. For more info on the band, check Related Links below.
Synopsis. As you can see above, there is neither guitarist nor keyboardist in the band's line-up. However, Djamra's music has an amazingly rich and colorful sound. Like many other contemporary Japanese progressive bands, including most of those whose albums I've reviewed this year, Djamra has a bent for highly complex music, which often borders on academic and academically Avant-garde forms. In other words, "Transplantation" is above all destined for ProgFessors and the other fellows of the most profound genres of Prog, namely RIO and Fifth Element. This album is the entity of a jazzy RIO, the roots of which can be found in the creation of Henry Cow and, in a less degree, Soft Machine. With saying so however, I by no means imply that there are influences of these or any other bands and performers in the music of Djamra. Not at all! The music is so original that I even wouldn't dare to say that the members of Djamra had any definitive sources of inspiration when composing it. "Transplantation" is an all-instrumental album, which is stylistically almost completely uniform. In the basis of nine out of the ten compositions here lies a unique, I'd even say, highly innovative combination of RIO and Jazz with pronounced elements of Space Rock and Space Fusion and some of those of (both of!) Jazz Classical Music and Free Jazz. Can you imagine how these guys were able to blend together those (seemingly) incongruous features? Aren't you thrilled already? I believe you are, since you still haven't stopped reading this review. The alternation of intensive, highly eclectic jams, mild and rather melodic arrangements and episodes with atmospheric, Space Rock-related, textures, very frequent changes of a musical direction, and, for the most part, the constant development of musical events are typical for the entire album. The only considerable exception from the album's stylistic 'rule' is Mood (5), which is quite an atmospheric composition in general and represents Space Rock-In-Opposition! The last and the longest (15-minute) composition on "Transplantation": To India (11) is on the whole about the album's predominant stylistics, though in addition, it is filled with flavors of the music of the East, and bass often sounds here like an Indian Sitar and even a Turkish Saz. This is my favorite track on the album.
Conclusion. Yes, To India is my favorite track on this album, though here is not a single composition I would consider lower than a masterpiece. ProgFessors, 'Academics', and all the other profound and open-minded Prog people, welcome to the royal musical feast Djamra has made for you!
VM: December 11, 2003
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