Well this is a new thing. Behold, the double review! Glorious, isn’t it? I’ve been meaning to review JH Sound’s Genuine LP for a while now, and once halc released his Pixel Perfect EP I knew I’d be reviewing that too. What better time than now than to do so, and why not review both in the same article? I regularly review double-disc albums anyways, so this is basically the same. Except that both discs are standalone albums and only related tangentially through the artist’s connections in the remixing community, and me. So here goes nothing!
JH SOUNDS – GENUINE
1. GenuineÂ Â Â Â 3:00
A pretty mellow track, with the title repeated for a while until about 0:47. At 1:03 it comes back, all chopped up. At this point, it becomes apparent that the word itself is used as an instrument unto itself. Drumwork is nice. At 2:38 the word fades out and JH’s trademark chime comes in to end.
2. PianaÂ Â Â Â 3:08
Fittingly enough, it begins with piano. And synth. A good combo, too! This track has a good melody to it. It switches up at about 1:04 and returns at 1:18 or so. 1:28 brings a breakdown that sounds sweet, and totally gives the song a new feel. Rhythm returns at about 2:20. Fades to end at 3:05
3. GlobalizationÂ Â Â Â 2:56
Sounds like a broken sound chip on an SNES at first; at 0:18 the beginnings of a pattern form and at 0:26 they come into full effect. A fun melody comes in at about 0:40. 1:25 brings a new instrument in, and like the other songs here, it adds to the ambience of the track. It ends to whistling at 2:30. The whistling itself ends at 2:50.
4. CreepersÂ Â Â Â 3:03
Funky track; sounds like it would work with the Munsters or something similar too, which rocks. The main melody ends for a brief time at 1:04 when a voice clip comes in. The music returns at 1:27 or so. The melody tunes down at 2:13, and returns at 2:22.
5. AOTDÂ Â Â Â 2:52
Interesting vocal clip from injury… the drums are solid again. The music jumps around a tiny bit, but it’s very enjoyable. As the song goes on, injury’s voice clip works as another instrument, like Noah Ludington’s voice clip from track one. It dies at 2:48 in humorous fashion.
6. Flatline feat. bill cakesÂ Â Â Â 3:02
Starts out with a flatline, naturally. Guitar here courtesy of bill cakes, and it’s done beautifully. At 0:49 the main track comes in, and it’s awesome. I really like what the two did here; it’s a beautiful collab. Then again, JH is great at collabs soo… yeah. Anyways, bill breaks down the guitar at about 2:00 in grand fashion. The song winds down at 2:52.
7. AmbushÂ Â Â Â 2:59
This sounds like a menacing track… I like it! Sounds like something big’s about to go down! Drums come in at 0:36 and add to the intensity. Mix-up at 1:26 doesn’t change the feel, and the drums returning keep it as tense as before. I want this song to play before I go to do anything, just to make it that much more dramatic. The sirens in the background starting at about 2:00 or so help too. It winds down starting at 2:30. It ends with a voice clip.
8. InfamyÂ Â Â Â 3:05
This song starts with FDR’s famous address to Congress after Pearl Harbor happened. Fitting, since the song’s name is infamy and FDR says it in said speech. I’m sure when FDR was alive, he never dreamed his voice would be used in a song like this. It’s actually a bit humorous. I like this track; it’s nice, and at 1:45 more of the speech is used a bit. Voice clip is chopped up starting at 2:25 or so. Breakdowns on this CD are quite regular and well… genuine. Voice clip chop to end.
9. CheekyÂ Â Â Â 2:58
White Stripes sample start the song out, and it’s nice. The drums and melody in the background are calming and fit the song. Trippy voice sample echo effect at 1:45 or so. This continues until 2:12 or so. Echo is used again every time the voice clip is used thereafter. A nice peaceful track.
10. FishyÂ Â Â Â 3:55
This track starts out quiet and builds up in grand fashion. Fittingly enough, this track contains a sample from the song “Echoes” by Fishy, alias Cain McCormack. The melody is beautiful and the mood is big. The sample comes in at 1:50 or so. It’s a bit strange, but it works. There’s a nice rhythm from about 2:30 until the end that works fantastically. Song starts to end at 3:43 and ends at 3:52.
11. MotorwayÂ Â Â Â 3:13
I just want to drive slowly listening to this song, even though I don’t know how to drive. It’s a fun track, with a nice moving rhythm. It’s calm and peaceful too. The melody goes basic at 2:50 and this plays until the end.
12. PrayerÂ Â Â Â 4:04
For the final main track of the album, JH decided to go religious a bit. A voice clip of a prayer begins the track, albeit a bit delayed. The melody plays throughout this voice clip, which plays throughout the entire track. Bass comes in at 1:12. Everything stops at 1:58 and resumes at 2:00. This entire speech is quite hilarious in it’s nonsensicality. There is a very defined rhythm, and the speech ends at 3:30. The melody continues until the end of the track.
13. Piana (RoboRob SpaceShip ReMix)Â Â Â Â 3:12
Ah yes, a remix… Very groovy and electronica-y. Some orchestral-like instrument comes in at 0:30. 1:01 brings about more of the main melody. 1:30 brings a voice clip, and 1:38 showcases a pretty slick effect. Sounds like the instruments in the source were sampled here for a more electronic sound. It’s a great mix, and fun to listen to. Everything continues as normal until 3:07 when it all suddenly stops.
HALC – PIXEL PERFECT
1. First HeadacheÂ Â Â Â 2:16
This sounds like the Game Boy Zelda fairy music at first. It’s very peaceful and relaxed. More chippiness comes in at 0:30, showing the main melody. It is also reminiscent of old Kirby music. It slows down at about 1:10. This is a very catchy track, and doesn’t incite a headache at all. It calms down at 1:58 or so.
2. Floating AwayÂ Â Â Â 2:56
Great choppy chips of Cthulhu! This song is more ethereal than a cloud! Was that a Mega Man sound effect I heard? 0:43 brings in some melody aside from the rhythm. 1:24 brings a breakdown, and the music slowly lowers it’s volume. At 1:44 it comes back. Looks like halc learned much from chthonic… err… Ben Briggs, in their time working together! Everything goes quiet at about 2:20 until the end, as it all slowly fades away.
3. 17-bitÂ Â Â Â 2:17
The melody comes in almost immediately. There is a very… not quite victorious or triumphant, but close… there is that sort of feel to this track. Like you’ve just done something monumental, but it’s not really a big deal… It quiets down at about 1:20 and returns at 1:38. Awesome chippiness at 1:54 or so. At 2:08 it begins it’s final descent.
4. White-OutÂ Â Â Â 2:15
Funky, groovy, nice bass. 0:10 brings in some melodious awesomeness. 0:28 shows off some echo-like chimes. This song has created it’s own ambience, and feels like an old cavernous dungeon theme from a game of yesteryear. 1:08 brings in another melody, albeit faint, and 1:28 mixes it up a bit. It returns at 1:45 with new beats. Bass to end.
5. Bad DecisionsÂ Â Â Â 3:20
I don’t think this song was a bad decision at all! Sure, it starts out slow, but it is building up to something epic. It keeps going, and by 0:30 there is some rhythm. 0:52 adds more rhythm, and 1:09 kicks off the melody. 1:28 adds some drum effects, with some bass effects. Main melody returns at 2:00, with some mixage of it incorporated. Now this sounds like some sort of infiltration theme for an old game. It fades out starting at 3:00 until the end. And a great end it is!
First off, JH’s album. It’s a great freshman effort, and it’s beautful. I would expect to see this on store shelves or something. It’s a highly enjoyable collection of average-sized tracks, perfect for someone on the go!
halc’s album, Pixel Perfect, shows off his champion chiptune skills masterfully, and is a great example of how old sounds can sound fresh and exciting. Each track is bite-sized, and full of nostalgic effects. Highly recommended, and highly advised for download. I hope he releases an LP of this soon; I must have more!
All in all, both albums are fantastic efforts by both artists, and are but the beginning of what they have in store, I’m sure. You can find more from JH at his website, jhsounds.com, and more from halc at his website, halc9bit.com. In our next thrilling installment, we’ll have a new album by that guy who has the perfect gigoquotes. If you know what that means, then I’m surprised you’re reading this. Until next time, game on!!