* Score = 1/5. Format: Audio
Funk drumming may have been with us quite a while now, but its popularity has by no means waned. After all, there's nothing like a funky loop to add sex appeal to your MIDI sequencing! But don't take my word for it — ask the Chemical Brothers... This latest library offers over three hours of warm and punchy drumming well suited for modern pop, electronica or hip-hop, where retro groove is the order of the day.
Each track comprises around a minute of continuous drumming, played to a click at tempos varying from 75 to 140 bpm, and with a variety of straight and swung feels. Although each groove is based around a main rhythmic pattern, different variations and fills unfold as the track progresses, and these can fairly easily be edited to suit your own song structures. In fact, for each different drum sound used, there are usually several tracks of the same tempo, which provides the useful possibility of mixing and matching patterns from different performances without too much trouble. That said, there's an awful lot of material here, and there's only a tempo listing in the booklet, so be prepared to spend a while browsing around to find the material you're after.
There is a variety of more or less roomy sounds, and the occasional hint of vintage reverb or delay, but little which steps too far away from roundness or usability — the main exception being several tracks of double drumming which, although technically commendable, probably won't float too many boats. The only real quibble I had was that there was occasional click bleed at the ends of tracks, as well as some over-zealous pruning of cymbal tails, but these small deficiencies shouldn't cause serious problems for most users in practice.
For me, the strength of this collection is the musicality of the four different drummers involved. Not only is there plenty of solid bread-and-butter stuff here, but many of the tracks boast glorious fills and sensitive hi-hat work, which simply beg to be sampled. If you share my feeling that funky drumming never goes out of season, this library should keep you happy for a very long time.
Audio CD £59.95 including VAT.
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