Town & Ship – Candle Counter

If you ever wondered how handmade chemistry sounds like – here you go, one of the the newest tracks of the uprising duo named Town & Ship.

The alternative pop track “Candle Counter” was done mostly with well sung male vocals and guitars, backed by percussion. This combination brings a certain melancholy to the table which I guess originates from the vocals but also is somehow “glued together” by the other elements. The guitars make your body wave from left to right, feeling this certain element you normally only get when attending a live show.
I read that the guys of Town & Ship are playing gigs live on a regular basis, with a skill set and a setlist of songs like this, no wonder they are rocking stages everywhere. They have what it takes, and add that chemistry to it which gives them their own signature sound.
Talking about the mixing work, in my opinion the vocals are done too crisp there. They are sort of dominating the whole scene, luckily this doesn’t hurt the song a bit because the vocals are sung rock solid. But, listening to the track using headphones with cranked up volume, the placement of the vocal tracks in the upper eq band does disturb the overall feeeling. (okay, giving that maybe I tend to crank the volume up too much sometimes… maybe THAT might be the problem as well.) Besides that, everything is there in the mix, and additional effects are placed right on spot. (The hall effects for the guitar tracks are my favorite. They remind me a lot of the works of another famous musician – and no, due to our kms policy I can’t say who, you’ll figure it out yourself when listening).

With the upcoming release of their self-entitled EP within this year, they’re shaking up the alternative pop world out there, breaking up static genre borders with their unique mixture of world percussion and the usage of not-everyday instruments and arrangements. I really recommend giving those other tracks on their soundcloud account a listen, it’s worth your time! If they are playing anywhere near your place, I order you to be at the gig. That is just mandatory. (That’s right, it’s not a recommendation. It’s an order.)

Rodrigo Rodriguez – In The Stream

Nothing virtual. No artificial instruments. No tricks, no strings attached. No electronic beat, no synths, no percussion. This one is about taking you to your core with only handmade music.

Maybe this is the only time ever I’ll cross a track like this one to write about in the kms musicblog, and I know, we are usually more about electro, hip hop, rock or anything – but “In the Stream” from Tokyo based musician Rodrigo Rodriguez just blew me away. I don’t know why, but I felt I just had to write something and spread the word.
I heard (and made) a lot of music over the years, but this one made me humbly bow my head when listening to. Played with a japanese Shakuhachi bamboo flute, the track instantly brings a kind of peace to you on the very first seconds. Mixed very carefully, the track uses room reverb and instrument placement in an extremely outstanding manner. And that’s pretty much where my knowledge of the used techniques end – I don’t know the first thing about how the flute is played, or which scale it covers. But I know this: the composition slows down whatever scene you are right from the start. The track is described by Rodriguez as Zen music, and it’s taken from an album called “Music for Zen Meditation”. Giving it a listen, you’ll know what this means, the track itself practically is like a instruction for calming and focusing. I’m stunned of the songwriting abilities of the artist, and I wonder what lead to the track… was it a feeling? A landscape? A situation? An emotion? All of this you’ll be able to explore for yourself if you take the time to listen. In a world where it’s all about getting more things faster, you’ll get the opportunity to just close your eyes for four minutes and let your mind do with the music whatever it wants to do without being interrupted by the usual hectic thoughts.

Obviously, Rodriguez is a professional in what he does. A true musician. With giving concerts all over the world and releasing albums and tracks on any major platform out there, I feel that I’m not one of few who this skilful artist was able to reach and touch – but one of many. In my opinion he is one of those artists representing what music is all about, no matter which genre you’re into. I strongly recommend to check out Rodriguez’ other work on Soundcloud or the major distribution networks. All the other tracks are made in the same detailed fashion like “In The Stream” and absoutely worth a listen.  For additional information check out his website or facebook account.