You are here

Kodish Drum 'n' Bass

Sample Library By Oli Bell
Published December 2001

Kodish Drum 'n' Bass


Ever since the first splintered rhythms of drum and bass leaked out from the underground clubs, drummers have risen to the challenge of playing its super‑fast beats on live kit. The latest to put his sticks into overdrive is Apollo 440 drummer Paul Kodish, ably assisted, on this release from USA‑based Q Up Arts, by Cliff Hewitt's added electronics.

Kicking off the CD, tracks 1‑14 feature drum loops combining live kit with electronic percussion and processing, varying in tempo from 105 to 171bpm. Each loop is then broken down into lots of separate mixes, some containing just the acoustic or synthetic elements of the beat, or variations on the loop, others differing mic positions and component parts.

The remainder of the CD, tracks 15‑21, comprises collections of single hits: kicks, snares, hats, and so on. These groups of individual samples are pretty comprehensive (there are over 70 snare hits) and come both dry and effected, from acoustic and electronic kits.

And that's your lot. Hold on, 21 tracks? Yep, this whole collection clocks in at a pretty mean 24 minutes — not exactly startling value for money.

Number of tracks aside, the beats themselves are well played, with some truly lightning snare work. Each loop is well recorded, and the mixture of live kit and electronics works well. Style‑wise, the beats are authentic, although don't expect anything bang up to date as, according to the sleeve notes, the collection was recorded in March '98, a long time ago in this fast‑moving genre.

The tracks of drum hits are useful, if not unique, and the alternate mixes are plentiful, with a wide variety of takes on the parent loop to add interest to a rhythm track. But having 27(!) mixes of one particular beat and its variations doesn't make up for the fact that you are only really getting 14 original breaks. It would have been better to cut down on the mixes and provide more original beats.

Paul Kodish is, without doubt, a tight drummer who seems to have a genuine feel for drum and bass. But asking £60 for under half an hour of material, when there are collections available comprising up to four CDs crammed full of goodies for the same price, seems a bit optimistic. According to the accompanying press release, the separate PC‑WAV version contains all the loops but not the drum hits, and even at a reduced price of £39.95 this still seems pretty poor value for money.

Overall, the original material on Kodish Drum'n'Bass sounds fine; there just isn't enough of it to warrant the cover price. File under 'must try harder'. Oli Bell