Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Smart 2 Noise Playlist #1

I wanted to start out and say, that I’m really looking forward to this series. We’re calling it  “Smart2Noise Playlist” Jon has asked me to go through an album at a time, and really dig into the recording, mixing, songwriting, and musicality of it. Hopefully I can do it some justice. I want to start out with a few more sentimental albums to me, and then start spreading out what we’re going to be going through. Because I’m sure I’ll only have a few months worth of ideas that I can think of right now, if any of you guys or girls have ideas of albums you would like another viewpoint on, I would be happy to do that.

The first album I want to get into is an album some close friends of mine recorded a couple years ago. The bands name is: The Reign of Kindo, and the album is Rhythm, Chord and Melody. Granted, I know very few, if any of you have heard of these guys, but, this is the first album in a long time that really rekindled my appreciation for amazing recording and musicianship, and made me want to get back into it, full time.

On this album, the band is comprised of five members, four of which I have known for almost a decade. That’s saying a lot since I’m 24. Drums, bass, two guitars, and a keyboard. There’s some horns and percussion that come in here and there, but it’s primarily a five piece band.

I’m not one hundred percent sure what to classify their style as, other than amazing. Later on in this series, I’ll dig into their other albums, as well, so you can see the progression of recording and musicianship.

What I really love through out this entire album is the consistent song quality. They really understand how important writing and pre production of a song is, to get it to a place where it can really take off, and be interesting to you, without hearing it in succession with the entire album. We’re not talking your standard; intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus, out. They take full advantage of interludes and instrumentals, and easing from section to section. Most importantly, everything is placed wonderfully. No obnoxious shredding, on any kind of instrument. I feel like while i listen to it, that they’re really painting a masterpiece musically, and set the words to match. 

(Start rant) That’s something that’s applicable to mixing as well. When I’m out mixing for a group, I want to make sure the picture they’re painting sounds gorgeous. It’s not my place to push the kick and they lead guitar so much that it distorts the soundscape that they’re attempting to give me. It’s so important to remember that you’re working for someone else when you’re doing your job, even if you own your own company. (End rant)

I was lucky enough to hear this album being made, and popped into the studio while this song was being recorded. Now, other than the drums, which I believe were recorded at one of the nicer drum rooms around town, most of this album was recorded in essentially a closet, in a gift basket store. Two rooms, about 6‘x10’ if I remember correctly. Not a ton of gear, A blue dragonfly and a Shure SM57 did almost all of the work. That’s right, two mics. An ART MPA gold, a SansAmp bass DI, and some damn good engineering. I’m sure that I have forgotten some things in the few years since this was released. But either way, these are all real instruments, real people, making real music. I’m not against using some MIDI and other digital instruments, but this album is just a really great example of what you can do on a budget. Don’t get discouraged if you’ve only got a small set up, mine is pretty small as well, but with an actual drive to get a product like this out, it’s 100% possible. 

The album starts out with a track titled: The Moments In Between. Starting off very delicately, with piano, kick and a ride cymbal before the vocals come in. The song builds for close to two minutes, before it really kicks in. The drums are ambient, and full, and every instrument is distinguishable.That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in a group where every instrument is doing something different, melodically and rhythm-wise, its a decent task to accomplish. I love how this song ends, with beautifully layered vocals, singing different lines. 

I could get a little too carried away going through every track, so I would say that the next two of my favorite tracks are : Let it Go, and Hold Out. Let it go is a little bit more bluesy than everything else and Hold Out really ends the album well. These guys tend to usually end their live shows with this track. 

I’m a little attached to these guys, so, I apologize for the sporadic nature of this review. But I really want to urge everyone who has read this far into the blog, to check these guys out. Their website is www.thereignofkindo.com

They have some songs on the site you can listen to, they’re also on spotify, and there are some really great clips on youtube of some live studio work they've done.

Really overall I would encourage you to buy this, and all their other albums... Mostly so my friends can keep eating and pay for their rent, and also, it’s really good music.

Lastly, if nothing else has peaked your interest in these guys, they remade an entire album in 8-Bit. It sounds like an old Nintendo game. They are nerds. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm always amazed when I hear these guys (live or recorded) the effect of space they create. They have a way of somehow showing you this imaginary space and then filling it up with music. I don't have to hunt for what they're trying to tell me, I just get drawn in.

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