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Review: Future Loops Zion Train Dub Drums

January 5, 2009
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FUTURE LOOPS ZION TRAIN DUB DRUMS

FEEL DEE GOOD VIBE, MON!

For its new Drumming Series, Future Loops tapped legendary Zion Train drummer and mixologist Neil Perch to produce a stunning collection of live dub rhythms. Loops on this 1 GB DVD split up into four sessions, each contributing a distinct vibe and tonal quality. Croatian drummer Vedran Meniga lends his remarkable talents on the first session, recording direct to hard disc in ranges from 135 to 160 bpm. It''s straight-ahead traditional dub fare with all the intricate hi-hat syncopation, ghost notes and lock-tight side-stick work you''d expect. The same kit appears to be used throughout the nearly 230 loops, all left meticulously clean and unprocessed.

The second session features Dave Ruffy of The Ruts playing to 2-inch 24-rack analog tape. That warmth bleeds through for a much larger sound and fuller bottom end on the kick and rack toms; it''s a shame there are only 52 loops. A third folder of approximately 180 lo-fi loops mainly features slightly grittier EQ treatment, particularly on snare and hi-hat sculpting. Conversely, the final session of 389 hi-fi patterns range from 65 to 168 bpm in the roots reggae, funk, ska, Caribbean upstroke and jazz-rock genres.

Unfortunately, some subtle but present leak from a bass guitar during tracking pops up throughout the library. In a dense mix with your own bass line, it likely won''t be a problem. But if used in isolation, you can''t roll off the bass without cutting into the body of the kick and floor toms. But overall, this disc of pure and earthy dub celebrates the genre in a very comprehensive manner.

FUTURE LOOPS (DIST. BY BIG FISH AUDIO)

ZION TRAIN DUB DRUMS > $99.95

At a glance: 900 drum loops, more than 100 rolls/fills and 400 drum hits by dub pioneers. 1 GB on DVD in WAV and REX2 formats.
Contact: www.futureloops.com

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