Jon Wells' - Encounters. (16 tracks + 1 bonus track in total)
The opening track (which this CD is named after) is actually based on the 5 note sequence from the Close Encounters movie. Jon has managed to turn that simple sequence of notes into an amazing 5 minute track! The tune begins slowly and features a GORGEOUS bit of pitch-bend (which you first hear just after the first minute). The bass then starts to kick in and it goes more uptempo just before it hits the two minute mark. I love the way Jon converts the lead into the backing later in the track (bringing in a completely new lead section). Listen out for the X-Files cameo too! Excellent stuff.
2. Ode to Galway
This tune was featured on the menu of the 'Ultimate Martin Galway Music Collection' which Jon produced (with help from Andy Roberts) for Binary Zone PD. What makes this track special is that it's done in the STYLE of Galway but isn't actually a cover of a Martin Galway C64 tune. This track features some great Galway-esque bass and those classic Galway 'wibbles'!
3. Arabian Adventure
I love this tune!!! It's an excellent original composition by Jon which has a nice Arabian feel (hence the name). I think it's the superb bass which comes in at 30 seconds which originally won me over! I also like the section at 1min 50 onwards which features some nice 'sploshy' backing! The tune is rounded off at the end with a cool Hubbard-esque grungy lead voice. Cool!
This wicked little platform game (starring Galactic Ned) has been in production for yonks now. This is the title tune from the game which I can sum up in one word ... HUBBARD!! Yep, Jon has used his Rob Hubbard sound set heavily in this track - just listen to the section approaching the 1 minute mark ... It IS Rob!! Hehe! There's a sexy section at 2 mins 25 which is worth waiting for too. Very nicely done.
Here's another tune by Jon which I've always liked. It was originally featured on the Supportware disk menu's and is a nice and light little track. That's until it reaches the 1 min 21 second mark ... And that's when the grungy Hubbard-esque lead voice comes in! Pure class ...
WOW!! This one wouldn't sound out of place in a 'Last Ninja' game! This is an oriental slowie from Jon which is a nice contrast to the previous pacier tracks. There's a great section at the two minute mark which really reminds me of the Anthony Lees music from The Last Ninja. An definite winner!
7. Ode to Hubbard
A beautiful seven minute MONSTER track from Jon here done totally in the style of Rob Hubbard! The sounds in this tune are absolutely bang on ... It somehow manages to remind you of various classic Hubbard tunes without directly being covers of any them!! Excellent stuff from start to finish this one (the end is really cool too!)
Here's a nice new tune from Jon which was composed for the Cyber Systems game 'Synetic'. The swirling start (with what sounds like an alert siren going off) gives way to a nice gritty lead voice and purposeful bassline. 1 min 30 seconds into the tune the lead kicks in which is fairly laid back with the percussion being used sparingly. Very not bad.
9. The X Files
I adore this stunning and lengthy remix of the X Files theme from Jon. It was originally featured on the second 'Epic Themes' double CD compilation, but I couldn't not include it on a CD filled with Jon's work!! It's amazing how Jon has transformed a 30 second TV title theme into a 12 minute epic but it really works!! The tune just keeps on building as Jon heaps on clever new twists and changes to the tune. There's an inspired section from 3 minutes 30 onwards which delivers some killer bass ... This track never gets boring or repetitive - you just don't know what it's going to do next. And the way the tune winds down at the end is great too. Sublime stuff!
10. The Last V8
With a huge array of Hubbard style instruments at his disposal it looks like Jon just couldn't resist covering an actual Rob Hubbard tune! This was a great choice to cover as well. Although the start gave Jon a lot of grief the main part of this tune has been superbly reproduced. But there's more!! Where the original Hubbard tune ends Jon introduces a whole new section which makes this into a very nice extended REMIX and almost doubles the size of the tune!
11. Project Argus
'Project Argus' was actually a huge multipart game created by SEUCK genius Alf Yngve ... Unfortunately, the game never saw the light of day probably due to needing far too many enhancements for Alf's vision to be fully realised. Jon produced an array of soundtracks for the game and this was one from the end sequence. I've always been fond of this track for some reason. I think it's the way Jon uses to channels for the lead which always triggers an emotional response from me. The tune is kind of sombre without being depressing ... Thought provoking stuff!
12. Zynaps '99
Here's the first MIDI track from Jon. Quite an obscure track to cover although I've always liked the original Nigel Grieve tune. Jon has done a nice job updating this tune with suitably spacey instruments and effects. Neat ending too! A short but sweet CD track this one.
This next MIDI track from Jon is a very happy little tune (based on one of his own SID compositions I believe). It sort of sounds like the tracks Jean-Michel Jarre used to put at the END of his albums (Last Rumba etc.) mixed with the Wizball highscore tune ... !
14. Warp Factor 10
A nice original MIDI composition from Jon this one. Warp Factor 10 is an optimistic spacey theme which will have your foot tapping away! Some nice whooshes and wibbly effects are snuck into the tune which is basically a bit of harmless fun. It just kinda carries you along for the ride!
15. Encounters 2K
The SID tune from Jon which gave this CD it's name has been very nicely updated on Jon's MIDI gear to form the penultimate CD track. I love the bass that Jon introduces at 1 minute 47 which takes the tune up a gear. The only thing missing from this track is that wonderful sliding lead voice which is in the SID version. But hey, the SID version is on this CD too so you get the best of both worlds!
As a bit of a bonus track I've put together what I call the 'evolution mix' of Jon's Ninja cover. Jon actually produced three separate cover versions of this Rob Hubbard track. One was done on the Nintendo GameBoy, one on the C64 and one with his MIDI gear. What I've done for this CD is started the tune with the GameBoy version (digitally recorded off an actual GameBoy!!) it then turns into the C64 version before finally becoming the glossy MIDI mix.
Jon Wells' - Encounters
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