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Music Tech Review

"Although modern electro has been around for several years now, populating the mainstream through advertising and chart hits, the genre still continues to develop in the clubs, taking on a harder edge and more extreme production techniques. SM20 Electro from Sample Magic showcases the upfront sounds of techno, Dutch, jackin' and French disco with a cutting-edge library of loops and one shot hits.

The collection is available as a download or limited-edition anniversary DVD pack (this is Sample Magic's 20th release). Not only do you get the main library, but also an extra DVD with a behind-the-scenes-at-Sample Magic short film, an extra CD with over 700MB of samples taken from other releases, plus an extended 24-page booklet with hints, tips and the Sample Magic story.

For a mere £5 more, this is a nice package and the extra samples covering funky house, minimal and nu-rave sounds are extremely welcome.

The main pack itself contains over 741MB of 24-bit audio in Wav, Apple Loops, Rex2 and Stylus RMX formats, plus one-shot drum hits with accompanying sampler patches for Kontakt, EXS24, HALion and NN-XT. Listening through the folder of glitched-out baselines, pumping synth melodies, heavy beats and stuttering percussion grooves, it's clear to see that the experience gained from previous Sample Magic releases has paid off.

This is a stunning collection of immaculately produced hooks with detailed production and a high level of polish. Every throbbing bass has been layered to perfection and every synth line has been pushed to the edge with inventive use of reverb, filters and automation.

The overall sound is very compressed, giving each loop an in-your-face quality yet still retaining dynamics and punch.

Most of the content falls into the standard 128bpm electro range, but there rare also synth and music loops at 126 and 130bpm to add variation. On top of this there's a tight collation of heavy electro drum hits, FX and percussion sounds.

For anyone writing electro, jacking' house or heavy indie electro this is an essential purchase that's chock-full of inspiring and club-ready loops.

Verdict: World-class production and inventive, heavy synths and beats. Sample Magic has done it again! 10 out of 10 stars."