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Plughugger Review

Long before house sprouted into all the flavors and mutations we're seeing today, the definition of house were pretty defined: a electronic beat machine - usually a 909 - a bass guitar, some electric piano and maybe some synthesizers and that was pretty much it.

In this library Sample Magic relives the era in - by todays measure - a pretty calm tempo of 120 and 125 bpm. This library is aimed for the users who are primary looking for old-school drum sounds and loops toppled with some nice bass loops.

Although not all of the drums in this collection rely on the sounds from the Roland 909, that's the vibe. Typical programmed beats from the 90s complete with those classic hihats. It feels genuinely old school - and it keeps true to the original style as well, which means you won't find any cowbells or whistles in there (damn it!). As so often with releases from Sample Magic, the loops come in variations, and the beats always come in a kickless version.

The top loops are complete drum loops minus the kick and are very well made and set the feeling spot on. It feels vintage house and old-school hiphop at the same time, which is not strange - they are essentially the same thing.

The bass loops are approximately a fifty-fifty mix of electric and synthetic basses. They are deep and there is no sign of those modernistic detuned saw basses - and are much more melodic in content.

Among the synth loops there are a clear majority of electric pianos - processed, filtered and embedded in dust. The feeling here is laidback jazz. The synth sounds are traditional stabs that have been heard on countless recordings during the decades.

The drums samples are well selected and processed in an authentic way - for example, there are no whimpy kicks nor are they uber-compressed. They sit nicely in the middle. The snares are quite varied and range from processed acoustic snares to electronic, hybrids and layered samples. The percussion folder mainly consists of shakers in various forms. There are also many toms and bongos, but the focus lies on shakers, which I consider to be a good thing since very few libraries spend any energy on shakers.

Although only 31 samples, the effect section is very cool. It's mainly made up by impacts and vinyl-ish ambiences and they sets a very nice - almost dubbish vibe.

CONCLUSION

Vintage House is an excellent starting point if you want to go back to basics and you want material for old, classic house. As so often with releases from Sample Magic - where the library really shines is in the selection of drum sounds and its kickless loops, which are absolutely top-notch. The only real negative thing I can say is that this library seriously wet my appetite for more old-school sounds - especially old-school hip hop when Mantronix ruled the dancefloors.