Film scores

Soundtrack review: TouchFish volume 3 (Chris Huelsbeck – 2015)

touchfish3

The musical saga of the virtual fish tank is coming to an end with volume 3 of Chris Huelsbeck’s score for the game. It seems the composer wants to end this mini trilogy in style because the first cue has more synth and more determination than everything from the first two albums. This has Sci-fi goodness written all over it and “Sparkling digital ocean” is like an anthem for the 80s: it’s melodic, it’s exciting and it’s dreamy and I am getting the most wonderful feeling of nostalgia from this.

It seems that after a mellow volume and a varied one he goes for the electronic action for the finale. “Bitcrushed ice” makes me imagine arcades and game machines and kids fighting for the record while stepping in the gum that’s stuck to the dirty floor. I am an 80s kid and this sound is the most precious to me. Film and game music have evolved a lot but just as you always come back to your mother’s home cooking no matter how sophisticated the restaurants get this basic, honest and dreamy sound is my most comfortable place. I can smell the dust of the tape recorder and I can get inside the mind of 8-9 year old me. “Adorable CuteNES” couldn’t me a more appropriate name for the third cue. It’s even more basic and it makes me think of the simplest games I ever played on the computer. Priceless…

When I listen to a score like this I travel effortlessly back in time. I don’t need a time machine, I don’t need special preparation; all I need is to put my headphones on and close my eyes and I am transported into my younger body and mind. The outside world disappears and I am back in my old room with the posters on the wall where I would wait for long minutes for a game to load, praying that it wouldn’t crash.

Depending on when you are coming from, “TouchFish soundtrack volume 3” could either be a silly and fun little chip tune collection you will laugh at or the equivalent of an old childhood picture that falls from between the pages of a book you accidentally opened. For me it was the latter and the level of nostalgia was very high. I will keep this one in my pocked for the times I might need a shot of harmless time traveling.

Cue rating: 93 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 16 / 25

Album excellence: 63%

Highlights:

Sparkling Digital Ocean

Bitcrushed Ice

Adorable CuteNES

Sid Delicious

Ode To Johann Sebastian (SID Orchestra Mix)

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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