Guitarist and improviser.
Solo project Dream Radio.
Co-leader and member of several ensembles.
Composer and arranger of music for stage productions and film.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Mikael Karlsson started playing the guitar as a 6-year-old kid, inspired by his dad and his brother. He spent the first couple of years picking out chords on an acoustic guitar, trying to figure out how to play the songs that he heard on his parents' records - a music collection that very soon came to stay permanently in his room. Thus, his first encounters with music was through artists such as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Hollies, the Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan. Only slightly later did he come across the stuff that his schoolmates listened to at the time of the early 90's (Nirvana, Bad Religion and everything in between). He spent his school years forming skate punk bands with friends, rehearsing and writing songs for hours and hours in suburban basements, practising Rush riffs in school (yes, skipping classes) and making his first live appearances at local festivals around his hometown. At about the age of 16, he began investigating the theory of music and guitar playing more thoroughly. He started studying jazz improvisation, spending most of the following years playing in jazz settings as well as gaining invaluable live playing experience doing countless cover gigs at weddings and such. Parallell to this, he began to form a sound of his own as a guitar player, influenced by The Edge and David Rhodes, in different pop groups such as Coy and later playing with Nejra and Thyselius. During this time, he also developed an interest in composition, which led him to further studies in music theory, composition and arranging. At about the same time the fascination for improvised music took a turn into free form improvisation, which has led to many rewarding musical collaborations.
In 2016 the album "Mest ibland tistlar" was released, featuring new arrangements of Allan Pettersson's Barfota songs. The album features singer Ola Sandström, vibraphone player Johan Renman, and cello player Anja Strautmanis. And in April 2018, the solo project Dream Radio was finally launched. Dream Radio is both the cinematic music writing and the live solo guitar thing combined into one. Since then, a lot of music has been released under that name. The seventh and latest digital release, the EP On This Day, was released on June 28 this year. It’s available on all major platforms and features the first recording of the solo guitar live looping concept.
DISCOGRAPHY (solo projects and sideman)
Nejra - Headstrong (single, 2007)
Thyselius - Waiting for your call (single, 2009)
Thyselius - Crashing towards daylight (album, 2009)
Nejra - In hindsight (album, 2009)
Nejra - Stay for a while (single, 2011)
Nejra - Commonplace heroes (EP, 2011)
Fredrik af Trampe - Tysta slag (album, 2016)
Sandström, Karlsson, Strautmanis, Renman -
Mest ibland tistlar (album, 2016)
Coy - No compromises (album, 2005/2017)
Dream Radio - We let go (album, 2018)
Dream Radio - Lives (EP, 2018)
Dream Radio - Music from a play (album, 2018)
Dream Radio - Roseman Bridge, 1965 (single, 2019)
Dream Radio - On this day (EP, 2019)