JoelMusicGroup - Six Degrees Of Freedom

Year of Release: 2001
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:24:00

When I mailed Joel Maslakowski about the fact I had met John Wetton on numerous occasions, he kind of sounded jealous. Now that I have listened to his self-produced album I know why, as this guy has been Wetton's twin brother all along! In real life, however, Joel worked together with drummer Mark Poland in the early seventies, Mark being the brother of Chris Poland, famous because of Megadeth! Joel admits being influenced by Chris's guitar technique, in which one can also find snippets of Allan Holdsworth, so together with the Wetton approach in the vocal harmonies, it's needless to say that parts of his music also contain some UK influences, although more commercial.

However, a song like "Round In Circles" could certainly be an unreleased track from the Danger Money album, sporting all the right licks, tons of rhythm breaks and lots of heavy guitar riffs. Probably a very difficult song to record all by yourself and proof that Maslakowski not only is a talented musician but also an accomplished producer and studio engineer, as all of this music was recorded in his very own studio all by himself! The way the arrangement is wrapped around the lyrics it becomes clear that the outlines for the songs are already well developed before Joel actually takes to recording the song(s). Only in this way can one emphasize certain parts of the lyrics, which come across as very professional indeed. Here and there however it sounds as if the programmed rhythm is either short of a "break" or has one "break" too many, as is apparent during "In The Name O' The Father."

I don't know if it's the sound of the CD-R but during "My Inferno" the sound is a little muddy, drowning Joel's voice in the music. Pure John Wetton can be traced throughout "Milton's Tales Of Fall," nicely focusing on acoustic guitar interspersed by spacey synth outbursts. "Invisible Man" maybe is the most UK-like song, what with that wailing Holdsworth-like guitar on top of that unqiue Wetton timbre. "Crimson Blues" has little to do with Robert Fripp as this is straight "no strings attached" rock'n'roll, illustrating that Maslakowski can join any kind of band whether rock, metal, prog, fusion, funk, you name it, this guy has the chops! The album closes with "Home Free" a combination of all the different parts he already put on display throughout the other songs.

I fully understand the fact that it's difficult to find likeminded musicians in order to create and record this kind of music, but there must be people out there who would be more than willing to give this talented guy a hand so his next album might be released by the likes of Magna Carta or Inside Out America. Wake up people and give this "slim" version of Wetton a chance. You won't regret it!

Mito 006 (6:49) / Round In Circles (5:06) / In The Name O' The Father (8:28) / My Inferno (5:55) / Milton's Tales Of Fall (5:43) / Invisble Man (4:43) / Crimson Blues (5:14) / Home Free (8:26)

Joel Maslakowski - everything

Music From Nobody (1999)
Equals = Zero (2000)
Six Degrees Of Freedom (2001)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: April 10th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 911
Language: english


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