Big Fish Audio | Remix Magazine Jason Scott Alexander | Soul City Product Review
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Soul City | Remix Magazine

Reviewer: Jason Scott Alexander Back to Soul City product details

Of late, I've been receiving funk libraries from the left, right and center. But one new release caught my attention for delivering the groovy goodness of funk but with the laid-back cruisin' feeling that one can only obtain from soul. Inspired by the music of artists such as Issac Hayes, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Barry White, Stevie Wonder, Macy Gray, Me'shell Ndegeocello and Erykah Badu, Funk/Soul productions has assembled a smoldering collection of soul construction kits on DVD featuring both live and programmed elements. Provided in Apple Loops, REX and WAV formats, the 27 nondescript kits are divided only by tempo (75 to 115 bpm) and key in their folder names. With each kit containing 10 to 20 tracks, in mixtures of two-bar and four-bar phrases, you'll typically find a base line, a main drum track with three or four variations, a guitar track or two, keys, horns, strings, synth lead and percussion (congas, bongos, wind chimes, tambourine and so on).

The kits are masterfully performed and contemporary throughout, and I loved the decision on some of them to combine acoustic drums with lo-fi drum-machine grooves or simple 808 kick and hat. Likewise, I found the slippy and wispy vinyl scratching made the classic-sounding kits today-cool. One problem of note, however, the drums provide intros, pick-ups and fills but often with no endings or ways to get out of a groove. You'll have to put it together piecemeal from slices that can sound contrived at best and simply wrong when no slice element, such as a crash or snare decay, extends for more than a beat without something else cutting it off. Nevertheless, sexy, sweet, smooth, and seductive, for so few kits, the variety of material is surprisingly deep and will beautifully hold down your trip-hop, pop or hip-hop vibe. After all, you can never have too much soul in the city!

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