Roots of South America Vol. 2

Contact: Big Fish Audio, bigfishaudio.comFormat: 1 DVD-ROM, 16 bit/44.1kHz acidized WAV files, REX files, and Apple LoopsPrice: $99.95

Few sample CDs make me say “I gotta have this!” after opening up a mere half-dozen files . . . but this is one of them. Why? I’m a sucker for great world rhythms, and it’s hard to find primo shake-your-booty rhythms from South America — especially a collection like this.

There are 26 multitrack drum loops, each with a full mix and the individual elements. These are duplicated as WAV, Apple Loops, and (without the full mix) REX files. The REX and Apple loops stretch well; the WAV files are cut to loop properly at the given tempo. (Being percussive, they’re not hard to acidize if needed.)

A major bonus is a folder with over 100MB of hits (AIFF and WAV formats) for 32 instruments, including plenty of samples per instrument (different licks, velocities, articulations, and so on). This begs for a Kompakt-style front end, or at least Akai/EXS-24 presets. But if you take the time to assemble these into instruments, you won’t be disappointed.

This CD isn’t about the smooth “tropical” sound that hit big in Euro clubs a couple years ago, but is more raw and real. Styles range from hyperactive carnival time to mysterious — almost shamanic. The loops make fantastic breaks in dance mixes, and provide exotic accents to sound tracks. If you’re an adventurous slave to the rhythm, this is an adventure worth taking.