Total Drum n Bass
Total Drum & Bass picks up the Total series where Total House left off. Same format, same mark of quality.
How does more than 600 breakbeats, lasting an average four bars each, sound to you? To me it sounds like
great value for money — and from both a sound quality perspective and a programming point of view I can't
think of another product on the market that comes anywhere close. There's no speeded-up James Brown cliché
here, just elegant, inspired and furiously sampleable dancefloor material.
The arrangement of the loops is also extremely logical, with all the breakbeats intelligently assigned to
tempo groups of either 155, 160, 165 and 170bpm. Disc 2 features a huge variety of pads, basses, guitars,
vocals and effects that are all nicely categorised into the same tempo groups as the drum loops.
Unusually for this type of release the vocal samples aren't bad — plenty of lo-fi grot mixed with short but
interesting spoken and sung performances.
A better set of drum & bass sounds would be near-impossible to assemble at anything like this asking
price. This release offers some of the finest examples of everything you would expect to find, but one of
the great joys of Total Drum & Bass is the wonderful surprises it keeps up its sleeve. Who would have
expected to find such impeccably recorded live string section phrases, or solo flute and sax riffs,
or sumptuously mellow Rhodes piano lines? Total Drum & Bass, like Total House before it, is a near-perfect
example of what dance-oriented sample libraries could and should be, combining thought, attention to detail
and consistent levels of quality and musicianship to give the end user tons of options and yet still manage
to say something new about the genre.