Bass Freq Kool Hertz
Grade
B-
 
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One might think that if you've heard one bass-thumping album, you've heard them all. Having both this album and Ryder Style show up at my desk at the same time quickly disproved that concept (in a good way). The two albums may have a lot of the same themes and concepts, but their executions are noticeably different. On it's own merits, the music behind Kool Hertz is pure heavy bass techno. With a thick layer of deep tone, the music is composed of looped beats, synthesized tones and a smattering of samples.

2 The Ground opens the album with a reserved pace, tossing in obvious synth tones and programmed beats over some heavy, but pleasantly interspersed bass. Crunk Hall follows with a a spattering of beats and tones until it comes together in a pretty groovy bass-line undertoned by a low pulse of bass. The synthed strings add a high note to balance the rest of the track. Gig-A-Low Crunk comes out fighting with a powerful thudding bass and mid-tempo beat that only gets more and more powerful as the track rolls along. Gamebox Quad opens with a sped-up sample of 8-bit/16-bit gaming music that shifts into a swift beat that parallels the sample. It rolls along with some nice flow and ends more with the stylized audio of the genre and time.

Transtroniq comes along with a more low-key approach, balancing various sounds against each other. This is followed by the scratching and bouncing notes of Droppin' Hood, which flow into a more standard techno/hip-hop beat. Bump-Cheq is a strong, pounding track that gets going quickly and gives you stereo a good workout.

Smooth Roller changes up the pace some by featuring a different string arrangement sampled over the beats. This is followed by Chillah B, which plays a balancing game between heavy and higher-pitched tones, rolling along a casual beat. Neon Knights kicks in with a snappy snare and head-nodding beat. The title track, Kool Hertz, builds quickly with a bit of showmanship and then kicks around with a looped beat and some varied tones to create its feel. The musical portion of the disc ends with Lo Bit Junk, a groovy little piece that ends the album with the same bit of tone and beat that most of the rest of the album featured.

After the main portion of the album, the album features an assload of tracks at different hertz values, which is thrown in as a test for your stereo. From a musical standpoint, these have no value, but I'm sure if you have a high-end car stereo, there are good for calibration or just plain showing off.

While I can appreciate the overall presentation of the album, I would have to say that this album could have used a bit more variety. Yes, it's a no-holds-barred heavy bass techno that's good for those who have high-powered car stereos, but because of that it also has a lot of similar tones and themes throughout the album. There are some variations in samples, but I found a lot of the songs shared a similarity to each other. One could feasibly walk away from their stereo, return ten minutes later and think that the same song is still going (with some minor variations).

Does that make this a bad album? No. Kool Hertz really is for the hardcore fans of the genre and for those who have an awesome car stereo. For the average Joe, it may a bit too much an example of the genre for them to swallow easily.

For more information, check out the record label's website.

- - Vane

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