Boomkat Product Review:
JEKS boss Jaakko Eino Kalevi lands on Weird World again with another library music inspired psych-prog/pop fantasy - one for fans of Kalevi's countryman (and collaborator) Jimi Tenor.
Kalevi's first love was the notorious US prog metal band Dream Theater, who he discovered at the tender age of 11, learning to play the complicated riffs on guitar. When he began making beats on FL Studio (then Fruity Loops), his tastes shifted, diverting to hip-hop, techno, disco and dub reggae, but the interest in lushly orchestrated, high-minded prog remained like a specter. The Finnish artist is based in Athens now, where he devised 'Chaos Magic', his fourth album for Weird World. It's quirky stuff too, a strangely earnest fusion of library music, experimental disco, krautrock, synthpop, and of course, prog rock.
What you get out of this one depends on your tolerance for bargain bin cheese. Kalevi straddles the line between Ghost Box's dusty hauntology and Jimi Tenor's eccentric radio pop - he's clearly got a passion for '70s and '80s music, but it's the stuff that mostly missed the critic's lists and probably missed Eurovision too. He might be referencing Vangelis on 'Hell & Heaven', but Kalevi doesn't evoke the Greek master's ambitious album, sounding more like Animal Collective covering Gary Numan. On 'Night Walk' he conquers tinny, analog disco, something he handles better with Alma Jodorowski on vocals on 'Palace In My Head'.
Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love' is the template for 'Galactic Romance', a collaboration with vocalist Yu-Ching Huang, and lengthy closer 'Let's See How Things Go' is a rumbly, psychedelic epic filled with neon-lit electric guitars, sax solos and dusty breaks.