"Transmission" (Self Produced; 2004)

Reviewed by Edwin Van Hoof

Pop quiz: What is absolutely stunning and hails from Argentina.

The answer: Carina Alfie. 

Carina who? Don’t worry ... Once you hear her skills as a guitar player and song writer, you won’t forget her name easily. This I promise you!

I received Carina's CD by a promoter in Germany who was in the midst of setting up her first European tour and promoting her world wide release, "Transmission," originally released in Argentina in 2004. This is the only work I know from this shredder, but checking out the names and references on this disc, one is easily thrilled. I'm only mentioning those who reached out to help: Neil Citron (Lana Lane), Linda McDonald (Phantom Blue), and Jennifer Batten (Tribal Rage and Michael Jackson’s touring band). The album was produced at Mothership studios by the legendary Steve Vai!  (To thank Steve for this, Carina recorded the awesome "La Canción de Steve," which is near magical!).

Speaking of magic, that  is exactly what Alfie is offering on "Transmission." Kicking off with the most amazing solo on "Spaces," Carina leads us through a colorful world of guitars. "Circulos de Fuego" could have easily been from the hand of Vai himself. And, judging from the gentle pictures of Carina, she must be really working out to fly so fast up and down the scales. As you can see by the cover art, she appears to be tiny and thin ... completely the opposite of what I expected by hearing her music!

"En todas Partes" is a vivid song with a killer hook that keeps humming in your head for ages, as is “Irridación” with its remarkable theme. Perhaps that is exactly where Carina is differing from all others in the scene nowadays. She is much more focused on putting her skills in place with a real song instead of only showcasing her considerable skills to impress people. 

Remember the Hungarian Tamàs Szekeres or Jamie LaRitz? Well, put those together with Greg Howe, add a little Eddie Van Halen and Ritchie Kotzen (Fever Dreams days), and there you have it: A girl that shreds a guitar to pieces and leaves you standing pale-faced! 

"Ray of light" is an enervating ballad which gives a full view of her skills, again without overdoing it. The already mentioned ode to Steve is in the same vein as "Mensaje de las Estrellas" -- a full frontal groovy rock track. The title track again gives us some easy but sophisticated laidback pleasure; it's a very relaxed and moody ballad and check out that reverb! "Encanto" is giving us more of an insight in her roots with its Tango/Flamenco styled acoustic guitar. It's a wow! 

"Awake" brings us back to reality with marvelous flowing harmonies carried on waves of joy. And, wrapping this guitar extravaganza up, is "Ki" which has a slightly jazzy/fusion approach with a touch of the progressive hand of Vai or Malmsteen. Simply breathtaking. Vai should be very pleased to have hosted this talent in his Mothership!

This is what melodic guitar dreams are made for. Why did I have to wait so long?

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:12 -0400.