Zero-G Indian Dance Classics ($99.95) covers 13 styles of sub-continental music (listed below). For each style, the 4.3 GB disc includes sub-folders for Intros, Rhythms, Fills, Variations and Endings, with some additional freestyle and rhythmic vocal samples. Each of those sub-folders contains an identical number of samples at corresponding tempos. For example, the Bombay Fusion's sub-folders contain eight samples apiece, one each at 102, 108, 116, 120, 126, 136, 142 and 162 bpm. So you can string together the Intro, Rhythm, Fill, Variation and Ending samples in what order you like to make a coherent piece.
Tempos throughout the entire collection range from 86 to 240 bpm, and all the loops come in 24-bit WAV, Apple Loops (AIFF) and REX2 formats.
For the most part, these loops are wonderfully produced with pristine sound. Some natural-sounding reverb kisses most of the recordings, and only once in a while did I feel like I'd rather have the sounds without any reverb.
Zero-G recorded these samples using clearly competent players of the authentic Indian percussion instruments on hand, including Tablas, Pakhawaj, Ghatam, Tavil, Dafli, Dholak, Udukai, Tambourine, Chimta, "tribal big drums," Dimdi, Morsing and many more. Unfortunately, one of the few big drawbacks to this collection is that it doesn't include single hits of all those great instruments. However, if you're willing to put in the effort, there's plenty of opportunity within the loops to edit clean single shots for most of the sounds.
To the untrained ear, some of the 13 Indian music styles represented aren't very distinguishable; many are similar in tempo, rhythm and instruments used. And a couple of the styles, such as Garba, sound a bit too much alike loop after loop. However, there's still plenty of variation in style overall.
Don't let the benign-sounding Folk genre fool you. It's distinctive hollow-body drum sounds brandish an edge of natural spring reverb and are some of the hardest-sounding rhythms on the disc. They'd be perfect for adding some tribal flavor to a techno or even pop/R&B track.
The Goa Dance loops are not at all what you may expect if you're a fan (or one of the many haters) of the Goa Trance electronic genre. Here, the breezy Goa rhythms conjure up images of laid-back Caribbean-style open-air dancefloors and frozen lassi cocktails.
The most Western-influenced style on the disc is Bombay fusion, which incorporates a standard trap drum kit and rhythmic feels that most closely approximate four-on-the-floor club vibes. Fortunately, rather than sounding too derivative, I found this set of loops irresistible. These driving rhythms could even fit into indie-tronic or fidget-house music, if the hipsters could condescend to using something as apparently trendy as Indian music.
More often than not, the 750+ loops on the disc give you ample variety in sound and rhythm, and if you have any inclination to incorporate Indian flavors into your tunes, you'll more often than not find something you want in Indian Dance Classics. Many of the loops work very well at a wide variety of tempos, either higher or lower than their original bpm. Throughout this disc, you'll find stuff that could work in hip-hop, dubstep, drum & bass, house and most other genres open to experimentation.
Example Loops of Indian Dance Classics' Styles
(Note: These samples are 320kb MP3, while the original samples from the disc are 24-bit/ 44.1 kHz.)