Review: Samplephonics Analogue Witchcraft by Paul Rez
Tons of sample libraries are released week in week out, and I reckon it’s getting increasingly harder to get noticed. Still, every once in a while there’s a sample library that grabs my attention.
Since launching their website at the end of 2011, the guys at Samplephonics have been working hard to bring “fresh, unique sounds that inspire creativity and push the boundaries of music and sound”, and that’s certainly what they are doing with libraries like Analogue Witchcraft.
This is quite simply the most diverse and exciting sample pack we have released to date, packed full of leftfield and experimental loops and samples all with their own unique flavour and texture.
Leftfield and experimental, just my cup of tea!
The title Analogue Witchcraft might throw you off a bit so just to be sure you know what we have here. The library includes a fair amount of sounds coming from modular analog synthesizer sources, but this sample pack is not all about that.
For Analogue Witchcraft a combination of vintage and current equipment and software was used. Samplephonics mentions “experimental recording techniques”, I call the pack’s sound fresh. It includes recordings of acoustic guitars and foley percussion, and a Studer Tape Machine was used as well.
This library was made by Paul Rez aka Paul Ressel, an innovative sound designer, composer, and member of electronica band Lark from Cape Town, South Africa. As part of this band that is said to be “one of the key contributors to the rising experimental and idm crossover scene”, Paul is no stranger to blending organic and acoustic sources with digital and electronic sounds.
Have a listen to some demo tracks and example loops from the sample pack below.
The pack includes no less than 226 samples grouped in 7 folders.
The first folder – Acoustic Guitar Day Care – sets the tone right from the start. These are some lovely acoustic guitar samples with a distinct sound, 42 loops in total. The description reads “played in a variety of unorthodox ways and processed in Reaktor and Audiomulch for some subtle effects”. I really like Paul’s style on the guitar, lots of flageolet tones and fragile melodies, lovely!
Taking things to the more experimental side we find Flawed Foley Melodies, a collection of 23 more melodic and rhythmic themes with stringed instruments and cinematic percussion type sounds. Unique in sound and execution.
The Half Buried Drum Loops folder includes 26 heavily processed beats. Heavy compression, long reverbs, nasty distortion. All is allowed here. Again, lots of unique material here.
Up next is the Organic Mechanic folder, in which 37 loops blend organic and mechanical sound sources. This results in more melodic and rhythmic themes, which are more on the experimental side as well. It’s interesting to see the variety of styles, which go from dark cinematic to sonic youth type bass guitar.
The Retriggered to Tape section offers a selection of loops that were processed with tape. The 21 loops include lots of re-triggered piano and guitar sounds.
Just as you think you are getting a good sense of where this library is going we get another surprise. Synthi Hurtful Bass Loops is full of the type of sounds that will make some people question your sanity. You’ll have to reassure them your speakers aren’t broken, explain what idm is, that kind of thing. Samplephonics lists them as “gnarly twisted bass loops, recorded from a selection of analogue synth loops, bass guitars and upright basses”. Gnarly & twisted, check.
The last folder is titled Uncooperative Sequences and they kind of remain in the same area as the synthi bass loops. These sequences also sound quite raw and twisted. There’s a total of 48 melodic and percussive loops, which once again showcase a lovely sonic range and a wide variety of styles.
The sample pack also includes REX files for many of the loops (103 in total), and patches are available for easy auditioning in your favorite soft sampler.
In general the loops have quite a raw and honest vibe, played/composed with feeling and processed with care.
So what do I think?
Format: 24bit, 44kHz/48kHz/96kHz Wav
Price: £34.70 GBP
Like: Unique sounds, inspiring
Don’t like: —
I would like to describe Analogue Witchcraft as musical, experimental, glitchy, raw & energetic, and most beautiful. These sounds conjure up a childlike enthusiasm in me. The library is like a playground with lots of fun toys scattered around for you to find, pick up, and make your own. My favorite sections are the guitar sounds and the drum loops.
The library is most suited to idm music producers and many sounds have a vibe that would work well for cinematic projects as well.
In short, Paul Rez created a truly remarkable collection of loops with a sound I haven’t really heard before. Recommended, check it out!