Big Fish Audio | Sound On Sound Oli Bell | Tower of Funk Product Review
Skip to content

Tower of Funk | Sound On Sound

Reviewer: Oli Bell | Rating: 3 out of 5 Back to Tower of Funk product details

David Garibaldi has been one of the regular drummers for Tower Of Power for over 30 years, so Big Fish Audio locked him away in a studio to create this collection of funk fusion drumming. As you'd expect all of the 411 two-bar loops included in this collection are well executed, with a nice understated feel.

The patterns tend to lean towards rock-solid, basic funk/R&B grooves, rather than flashy or overly flamboyant showboating. Sorted into tempos that range between 66bpm and 136bpm, Garibaldi really gets into his groove around the 100-120bpm mark. That's not to say that the slower beats are badly done, but rather that the faster tempos suit his style better.

In addition to the loops, there are a further 348 fills, once again sorted by tempo. Although the fills are well played and very useable when combined with the loops, I'd have liked to have seen fewer included and much more emphasis on actual loops and patterns. Rounding off the CD is a small group of 30 single hits.

In terms of quality, the loops themselves are well recorded and left quite dry, giving plenty of scope for the addition of effects and further processing. However, it has to be said that this does drain some of the individual 'vibe' out of the beats. There is little in the way of variation in the kit Garibaldi plays, contributing to the lack of overall character. Apart from occasional changes from snare to side stick, the overall drum sound stays the same throughout the collection - a good percentage of the kit is his own signature edition. This makes the actual usability of the CDs rather dependent on whether you like the sound of the kit or not. Although the choice of drums suits Garibaldi's drumming very well, it does get repetitive, and makes the resultant loops less inspirational than perhaps they would have been with a less restrained mixture of processing and kit.

Overall, although I can't fault the tightness of the playing, the understated groove of the patterns, or the actual quality of the sound, this collection still left me feeling rather disappointed. Garibaldi is without doubt a great drummer, and if you're looking for clean, well-played drum loops in a no-nonsense funk/R&B style then there's plenty here to interest you. But for those who aren't aficionados of Garibaldi's work, or those used to the wider scope of other commercially available collections, the lack of variation in kit, sound and feel might soon become rather tiresome.

Back to top