Sony: Underground—Uk House And Electro

The title tells the story: The loops offer much of the looseness of house, but instead of the “elastic,” loping feel of classic house, it’s rhythmically tighter, and with harder-edged sounds—that’s the electro part checking in. Sometimes, it even starts approaching the techno world tonally, but not in terms of tempo; percussion and drums have folders of loops at 120, 125, 127, and 130BPM (although of course, Sony has the Acidization thing down, so these stretch very well). The net result stakes out new territory. The CD-ROM includes synth bass (66 files), drums (186), electric guitar (16), FX (80), pads (34), percussion (128), synths (91) and drum one-shots (49 files).

The drums, bass, and percussion are what’d you expect, while the guitar updates some of the jazz and “Shaft”-type sounds of the ’70s. Don’t expect string pads and sweet synth melody lines; the pads tend to be more like movie atmospheres crossed with effects, and the synths often feature bubbly, arpeggiated lines—think acid bass up an octave.

However, there are also some more conventional options. As to the FX, they’re way cool: Throw them behind, or even instead of, a breakbeat, or to add some musical punctuation. Check out the example at — this is definitely the type of CD where the sum is greater than the parts, because everything fits together so well.

Sony Underground House

Contact: Sony Creative Software,

Format: CD-ROM with 491MB of loops and 5MB of one-shots; demo song in Acid format; 16-bit/44.1kHz

List price: $59.95