J.Dot & KD: “To Whom It May Concern” – Low on frills and rich with introspection!

I noticed that J.Dot makes his best music when he’s rapping about being a responsible man, or when he’s creating something with substance and meaning, as opposed to trying to make contemporary radio hits or battle rhymes (although he is an excellent wordsmith).  This is mostly what happens on his 4 track EP, “To Whom It May Concern”, that narrates the evolution of relationships in its various forms. To put it all in perspective, this sounds like a powerful and mature work. Something tells me J.Dot experienced things that impacted him over the past years and this album is bred

Jack Soundfield: “Shine” – You can dig deep or soar to the shore

By profession Jack Soundfield is an engineer who has travelled around the world. He has lived in Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Besides uncovering the secrets of the globe Jack has a passion for music and experimenting with instruments and sounds.  “Before publishing a song, it is mine alone,” says Soundfield. “After publishing it, anyone can listen to it and decide whether to identify with it, or love it, or both.” Jack, who has been composing music since 2009, recently released his debut album, entitled “Shine”. “I have to admit,” explained Soundfield, “that my girlfriend – a solfège teacher of the

G.H. Hat: “Piano Jam 2 (Ode To Kygo)” – an authentic human expression

Modern acceptance, or lack there of, in electronic music hardly comes as a surprise. Just look back through the history of music and how the 17th century technology spread. Musicians no longer had to master a particular bow technique on the violin or cello in order to play the perfect note – They just had to press a key. Can you imagine the horror of the purists at the time? They probably all thought that the piano was destroying the soul of the music. What it did though was simplify things. It reduced what was really essential and human. People

JaVez: “When I Was Uptown” has the power to captivate audiences

JaVez is a 23 year old Maryland recording artist who sings, raps, produces, and mixes his own music. The self-taught Baltimore area artist has a penchant for Kanye West, Usher, Jay Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Brown. He also grew up listening to singers like Brian McKnight and R. Kelly. JaVez plans to one day be a successful CEO of a record label and iconic recording artist. JaVez is the true definition of an artist, he isn’t afraid to be himself and put himself out there. The lyrics alone prove that. Add in some fantastic production and the

HR Live At CBGB’s 1984 – an essential part of alternative music and punk culture

HR is most well known as the lead singer of revolutionary reggae punk rock band Bad Brains. In their day Bad Brains could have been easily mentioned in the same breath as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, such was their greatness. Yet the band has evolved many times in its long history, playing across many genres of music including jazz, hardcore punk, alternative rock and reggae. HR has been making music since 1976 with Bad Brains, and along the way until today, he has been acclaimed for his reckless punk screaming just as much as he has

Callum Crighton: “The Rose” – a strong ear-catching melody

Even while everything I know about my musical taste should violently reject the cheese-camp synth pop and adorable mainstream swoon songs of the 80’s, I’ve enjoyed that music ever since I was first tricked into listening to the smooth, velvety crooning of the Brit pop chart invasion during that period. I can’t really explain why I loved that music so much, I guess for the same reason people eat cheesecake: It’s loaded with sugar, almost unbearably sweet, and probably isn’t the healthiest for you, but goddamn if it doesn’t make you feel so good inside when you eat it up.

Virgil Blue: “Pain Of Loss” – gorgeous washes of sound

Virgil Blue has released his debut EP entitled “Pain Of Loss”. Inspired and influenced by Prince and Sade, Virgil, a multi-instrumentalist who started out making music at the age of six, when he picked up the saxophone, produced much of the music that can be heard on this EP. Virgil who recently moved from the suburbs of Detroit to LA has put together 6 smooth trance-like tracks that that flaunts ambient, RnB and trip-hop flavors. If you’re looking for something atmospheric and hypnotizing, then this recording may be of serious interest to you. Fragile, tender and soulful, Virgil Blue’s voice will

Big Chris: ‘Bad Timing’ – high quality production and seamless transitions

After a successful release of his last single ‘F The World’ in Summer of 2016, UK based RnB artist and producer Big Chris releases his newest album ‘Bad Timing’ available via all major media providers. Recorded by Big Chris and John Robinson at Clique Studios, London and Miami Live, Miami. The album mix was finalized by Mixbytrip at Circle House Miami. Inspirations of The Dream, Mike Posner and R Kelly can be heard throughout. This album has some really original, unique, futuristic cuts on it, as would be expected. Big Chris is a more audacious artist than most in the R&B game right now, because he says what

Shellee Coley: “Story Like This” – a maturity that is mesmerizing!

Shellee Coley is a Texas-based singer-songwriter that has released three full length albums. Her current focus is a 5 song book of musical meditations called The Becoming Project that is being released one song or “chapter” at a time by the independent label Red Tree Music Group. Essentially, Shellee has created a unique style that blurs the boundaries between genres and categories. There are recognizable influences from classic songwriters like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Lennon & McCartney and Bob Dylan, as well as from some more current acts. Coley is able to absorb them all, and filter them through her own sensibilities

All Atomic: “? ? ? (Track With No Name)” builds multiple climaxes and movements

All Atomic is an electronic music producer and artist from Bristol, UK. He has just released his debut for indie label Pink Dolphin Music, entitled – “? ? ? (Track With No Name)”. The majority of listeners will agree that this track is perhaps one of the best examples of wickedly detailed and technically rich techno and house out there. If that is a mouth-full, it should be. All Atomic has defined the amazingly intricate form of electronic dance music that weaves clever beats into unusual and unexpected sounds to create a masterpiece of rhythmic movement and audio ecstasy. It’s

Elmo Karjalainen: ‘Age Of Heroes’ is full of diversity

Elmo Karjalainen is a ‘guitarist’s guitarist’ who revels in a self-penned musical hybrid shot through with intensity and precision. His latest album ‘Age Of Heroes’ is a big sounding album with enough twists and turns to make Karjalainen’s solos sound both dynamic and interesting. This album represents a milestone, for Elmo, who is considered one of the best rock guitarists in his native Finland. On this album he realized his dream of playing alongside side some of his own ‘heroes’.

“This album saw me realize a dream. I have always wanted to have people I consider influences appear on an album of mine,” says Karjalainen, continuing, “I dreamt of playing with Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen, and on this album I saw that happen. I got Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen keyboard player who also toured with Billy Idol, Kiss and Alice Cooper) to play a killer solo on one of the tracks. The second artist to feature was none other than Viking guitar maestro Mattias IA Eklundh of Freak Kitchen. He’s a guy who has truly influenced my playing. In addition to those two I got the extremely talented Janne and Emil to feature on one song, where we did a three guitar battle. ”

Elmo Karjalainen

Elmo Karjalainen

There are plenty of incendiary guitar breaks and harmony guitar parts, shredding and the like, but Elmo Karjalainen also demonstrates a lightness of touch which is almost playful at times. This aspect is offset by several complex moments that explore rock, pop, metal, blues and even classical influences as he cleverly balances the obtuse with the accessible.

‘How Can Less Be More’ is full of diversity, a wide range of solos and an array of tone colors. He glues together all the elements on ‘The Colour of Greed’, which he tops with an incredible shred and then joins keyboardist Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen) as they trade instrumental virtuosity before slipping into some beautiful slow-burning guitar ambience  on ‘Chikken Noodul’.

The lyrical duality of ‘A Fertile Discussion’ is exulted by the subtle dynamic tension between Mattias IA Eklundh’s exemplary playing and Karjalainen’s fusion ensemble sensibilities, laced with multiple harmonies. The restless live feel of ‘A Meeting of the Gods ( And This Guy)” is evidenced by the way Janne Nieminen and Emil Pohjalainen (winners of Yngwie Malmsteen’s Guitar Gods competition), together with Elmo Karjalainen trade electrifying riffs as if it  was an adrenaline pumping rollercoaster ride.

This is an intense high octane collaborative track. And it’s this constant search for that one lick to match the others that gives the tune such a captivating appeal which is exemplified by the booming ‘call and response’ riffs.

Karjalainen saves one of his biggest impacts for ‘Falling for Falafels’ on a collision of understated power, song craft and intense guitar playing. The big crescendo before the outro is effectively a musical sleight of hand, as it suggests a succinct resolution to a bulldozer of an album, but magnificently, ‘Age Of Heroes’ has even more depth than that.

It’s a frequently multi-layered and surprisingly diverse album full of magisterial guitar lines that constantly draws Elmo Karjalainen into new musical avenues.

He’s at his tasteful and poignant best on the meandering twist and turns of ‘Three Days of Peace’ and the bluesy ‘Limiting Rationality’, while the upbeat fusion groove of ‘The Grassy Gnoll’ is an example of an artist following his own musical path. ‘Age Of Heroes’ reveals new nuances with repeated plays.

Elmo Karjalainen’s musical knowledge, breathless guitar playing and imaginative musical arrangements shape the musical vision of a genius shredder with a penchant for real songs. Elmo personally feels that this is his best album to date, and on the evidence showcased across the 15 tracks here, it would be hard to disagree.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE ► TWITTER ► FACEBOOKBANDCAMP ► YOUTUBE

About The Author

Reply