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Dark Side Of The Tune Queen’s English

WAV
By Mike Senior

Hand on heart, I can testify that no sample collection has ever made me laugh as heartily as this new WAV spoken‑phrase library from Dark Side Of The Tune, although this may not have been the developers' intention. Performed by posh‑sounding UK dominatrix Miss T, there are phrases covering six different topics in language either directly filthy (the Fetish, Street and Vulgarity sections) or else dripping with suggestive intent (Mistress, Bible and Food). While the talent seems pretty convincing on her home turf in the Mistress folder, the same cold and detached delivery doesn't work nearly as effectively elsewhere, where she sounds under‑rehearsed and often slightly bored. Indeed, if "Mind the gap!” or "You have no new messages” had popped up amongst her discussions of gerbils and baked beans, I'd scarcely have batted an eyelid.

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The production values are a bit dodgy, too. For a start, various lumpy edits don't help Miss T's delivery, while unnecessarily high levels of background hiss and room ambience make the samples a whole lot less generally usable. (Presumably Miss T wouldn't tolerate even her audio signal being clean and dry.) You might also question the point of recording in stereo for material like this, but even if you don't, you're nonetheless unlikely to want your leather‑clad continuity announcer wandering haphazardly off‑centre most of the time, as she does here. You could say that this kind of thing is endearingly lo‑fi, but I suspect the recording engineer needs a dose of firm discipline too.

On the face of it, then, Queen's English is just a bit ropey. However, if you have an ounce of 'Nay, Nay, Thrice Nay' about you, its amusement value is almost irresistible and may prove to be a saving grace. Plus, to be fair, the library is well‑organised and fills a niche for Tipper‑sticker speech snippets that otherwise seems badly served. However, this kind of money also buys a vintage series of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, so these 176 samples are unlikely to feel like especially good value unless you tinker a lot more than you titter. If only they'd recorded them with Mister T instead... Mike Senior

$29.

Dark Side Of The Tune +1 206 722 9330.

www.darksideofthetune.com

Published March 2010