Looking to create something new and fresh, Samplephonics approached the composer George Baldwin to create a library of high-quality real music loops that draw their inspiration from the early days of sampling. The result is Organic Loop Elements, a library that contains 50 fully mixed multi-part loops, and also multiple stems, allowing you to rearrange the layers, should you wish to. The loops have been made to slot into a range of musical genres, but I think it's fair to say that they are mainly aimed towards the dance/chill-out market. Loops and stems are categorised into four different tempo folders (100bpm, 125bpm, 140bpm and 170bpm), and are carefully named and helpfully organised to make browsing easy.
As the library title includes the word 'organic', I was expecting an emphasis on real instruments, with maybe a few subtle effects. However, the collection is considerably more experimental than that. The majority of the loops are comprised of processed guitar and processed vocals, with the overall effect being quite textural. The parts are all well recorded, and carefully effected, such that the overall clarity of the content is not sacrificed. The loops sound polished, and I had no problem building compositions around them, finding that they sat nicely alongside other programmed material that I created.
Overall, this library reminds me of the heavily layered sheets of sound you hear from experimental guitarists who specialise in live looping, such as David Torn and Robert Fripp. For example, the loops 'Acher' and 'North' contain many layers of guitar, panned across the stereo field and effected with different treatments, such as pitch shifting, delays and modulation effects. Helpfully, George has included the stems from which these layered loops were created, to make them much more flexible, allowing you to pick the layers you like and combine different elements. The library also contains a number of vocal loops that follow a similar pattern to the guitar loops, again leaning towards a textural, processed aesthetic. The 140bpm NeonSun loop is a beautiful mix of vocoded vocals and synthesized drones and is simply crying out to be made into a dubstep tune.
I like the simplicity of this sample pack, with the loops presented as WAVs and without a myriad of other formats to trawl through. Everything is clearly labelled and well organised. This really helps you focus on what this sample library is good at, which is providing genuinely different and creatively interesting material that inspires you to write something new. I not only think the content is good but very much enjoyed listening to it; George has created something with real musical personality. I don't think this sound library is one for everyone, so I will conclude with this: if you like the idea of heavily processed and layered guitars and vocals, you should definitely check out Organic Loop Elements. Geoff Smith
£34.70 including VAT.