Thursday, 24 October 2013

Menagerie by halc and Tuberz McGee: A Lost in the Music Review

Menagerie: noun

1: a collection of wild or unusual animals, especially for exhibition.

2: an unusual and varied group of people.

3: the latest album from halc and Tuberz McGee

halc is back and better then ever. Fresh off his album Zero-G3: Homeworld released back in August, this time halc has partnered with fellow chiptune performer Tuberz McGee. The result of this union is the album Menagerie as well as introducing others to a new chiptune artist.

One of Menagerie's strong points is that no two songs are similar. Each track is wholly unique and honestly, I feel the album would be weaker if all the songs followed a similar formula. It is that uniqueness that makes Menagerie a great album. There are times where it feels like halc and Tuberz McGee just threw something together to see what worked and what didn't and for the most part that would cause the song to album to fail as it would be a mishmash of songs. However, because of the nature of the album, in that the album doesn't follow a theme, this works so well to its advantage. Had halc done this with “When Late Becomes Early”, it would have sounded poor and made the stellar album a complete mess.

In a sense, you can argue that the very theme of this album is to not have a theme.

Like many other chiptune tracks and albums, the music on Menagerie sounds like it belongs on a classic game from the 8-bit era and like the other chiptunes it does harken back to the 80's. Aside from the randomness of the tracks, I can't really call it original. The album is good yes, but it has been done before.

However, the track Squidzilla goes in a completely different direction by adding lyrics to the track. Tuberz McGee lends his vocals to the track and when I first heard to song, I was surprised. To add lyrics in a chiptune song is almost unheard of as the format does not lend itself to vocals. Seeing as chiptunes are trying to emulate the eight-bit consoles, having lyrics almost breaks the illusion. However, Squidzilla makes it work.

So in the end, is Menagerie worth a purchase? If you are looking for something fresh in the chiptune department then I would highly recommend getting the album. It's fun and silly and defiantly worth it. You can find Menagerie on halc's and Tuberz McGee bandcamp page. If you wish to listen to more of McGee's work, I would suggest you check out his other albums on his bandcamp page.

I enjoy it when two artists collaborate. It allows two different artists to combine their own sound into something unique as well as expose them to each others fanbase. Before Menagerie, I did not know who Tuberz McGee was. Thanks to the album, I have found another artist to add to my favourites and maybe sometime in the future, I will will showcase them here on the site.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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