Review of Loopmasters Stereo MC's - Vaultage: Stereo MC's sample library is a gorgeous mix of styles and sounds, and should be on the top of the list for all producers who want to inject a bit of the 90s into their music.
I'll be honest. Apart from their big hits Connected and Step It Up, I really don't know much about Stereo Mc's. But even today when one of their hits reaches the speakers of my car - I always turn up the volume. And not just me - I've never met anyone who doesn't like Stereo Mc's. Their big hits are damn good songs and they still work year after year, and I know I'll still be hearing Connected in my car ten years from now. And digging it.
So when Loopmasters released a sample library made in collaboration with them - it was no question that it had to be reviewed.
In terms of attitude I've always placed Stereo Mc's together with Happy Mondays. Although Happy Mondays always have been more punk in their musical soul - Stereo Mc's share the same fundamental strategy - if it sounds good - it's good. Period.
If there is anything I miss about the 90s - it is that crazy energy that came when music equipment became affordable.
Most people were sampling everything from everywhere. It was a very creative period where many musically interesting bands found their ways to the charts.
What I am trying to say is that I expected to find a sound library covering practically all corners of the musical universe.
I - in my infinite wisdom - was naturally entirely correct.
Just by start listening to the loops and you realize that this is probably as far off the niched and laser-cut libraries we are mainly seeing today. If someone would boil down my personal collection of sounds and loops - it would probably be equally spread out over genres and tempos like this library.
The style is charmingly cross-over. It's hip hop, house, rock and techno - all at the same time.
The drum loops go from the monotonous techno-house patterns to breakbeat and odd hip hop-ish meters. The basslines span from techno-ish synthlines to electric guitars that could easily be played by Primal Scream.
Although that the brass loops have a more distinct hip hop-feel to them - they will most definitely satisfy producers of old school house. The same could be said for the strings - the majority have that looped feeling that are so common with hip hop.
Personally I am a big hater when it comes to pre-recorded vocals samples - according to my experience, they are 99 percent rubbish and it's better to even bring in a entirely talentless vocalist rather than using vocal samples (believe me - it is). But I really must say I enjoyed these samples in the same sense I liked the vocal samples that came with Marshall Jeffersons first sample library. They bring a certain cheeky coolness.
Vaultage is a journey back to the sound of the 90s - but also a healthy reminder how sample libraries were made at that time. The library is a collection of loops and sounds that covers a wide range of styles and types of sounds. In spirit it feels connected with the old sample library Ecstatic Goldmine and the newer Sound Science library from Coldcut. Although you most definitely can start producing Stereo MC-esque hip hop and house with this collection - I'd rather see it as a compliment to your existing arsenal of sounds. Vaultage is toolbox that will surprise and inspire you for years to come. The material in this collection is absolutely brilliant. Buy it. You won't regret it one second.
Loopmasters Stereo MC's - Vaultage
Price: 34.95 pounds.
Good: Wonderful collection of sounds and loops.
Bad: Nothing really. It's a truly great library.
Review copy: thanks to Loopmasters for NFR.