The chances are that, like me, you won't have seen the inside of producer Davor Devcic's home, but Lounge & Chill provides us with a pretty good idea of what the ambience must be like in his living room. Extremely relaxed, I'd say.
Between sips of a dry martini (probably), Devcic has created more than 600 samples, and they've been shaken into the now very familiar 'construction kit' format. In fact, Lounge & Chill offers 32 kits in all, plus some non-kit-specific loops of drums and percussion, electric piano and guitar, all of which are paced at 90bpm. The kits themselves cover a wider range of bpms, starting at 70 and peaking at 117. Kit folder names like 'Black Panthera Gm 83bpm' and 'Lobby Mystery F#m 80bpm' provide very useful clues as to the tempo, key and musical direction of each composition, and the first file in each one is a demo mix featuring all the samples of the kit playing together.
To me, the music initially sounded like a cross between Chris Rea and Sade, but there are also some more modern electronica and dance influences at play here and there. Some of the kits could be used to create spoofs of 1960s television theme tunes or vintage commercial ads, while others should interest composers who have been asked to create calming and copyright-free telephone hold music or background tunes for restaurants.
Many other libraries serve their samples 'dry', leaving the end user to decide how and when to apply affects and processing. Lounge & Chill's samples, however, are already processed, which means that they immediately sound great and fit nicely with the rest of their respective construction kit elements. Unfortunately, though, it also limits their flexibility, and it's a shame that the less spectacular, but handy, dry versions are not included.
Each kit offers at least one composite drum-loop comprising instruments such as hi-hat, kick, bongo, rim shot, ride, shaker and conga. Alongside the composite loops are the individual percussion instrument samples themselves, which are very handy to have for constructing the breakdown sections in compositions and for building alternative loop arrangements.
The kits also contain composite loops called Backing, which, similarly, are submixes of instruments such as vibes, electric piano, bass, virtual bell and flute sounds, and other miscellaneous synth and pad lines. Once again, all these instruments are available as solo samples.
As an educational tool, the library is fairly successful, as it demonstrates how lounge-style music is constructed and provides the sample elements needed for making new compositions, but, as mentioned above, it would be great to be able to experiment with custom effects on dry samples. From a more general perspective, Lounge & Chill will be of interest to producers of R&B, trance, electronica and other kinds of music requiring the addition of soft-edged sounds. Even hip hop tracks could make use of the very jazzy electric piano chord samples, by contrasting them with harder beats. Tom Flint
£60.95 including VAT.