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