Developer: Wave Alchemy
Format: Downloadable files in WAV, Apple Loops, and REX2 formats
Demos: Free loops and audio demos on the product page.
Tribal & Tech House is the newest loops collection from UK sample-mongers Wave Alchemy. The labyrinth of sub-genres (especially in house) can be pretty dizzying, but all you need to know is that this particular library leans towards lots of ethnic percussion rhythms mixed with cutting edge edits, glitches, and modern effects processing/programming.
Like their previous releases, Tribal & Tech House sorts its loops into separate folders by category. The first category you'll find is the Groove Assist category. These loops basically consist of elements that will help turn a simple kick and snare pattern into a full-fledged groove. Side-chained crowd sounds, gated voices, pumping basslines, kinetic synths and more join up with cymbals, shakers, and ethnic percussion in various combinations to liven up your simpler drum parts.
Next up are the Mixed Percussion and Percussion folders. Mixed percussion is made up of grooves with several percussion instruments playing at once, whereas the Percussion folders focus on rhythms played on a single percussion instrument. Congas, djembes, shakers, woodblocks, and the like are the order of the day here. Processing is generally very light with most of the loops just being treated with compression and some room reverb. The Shakers & Sticks category is very similar, but made up of - wait for it - shaker and stick rhythms.
If you're looking for something a little more electronic-sounding and contemporary, look no further than the Tech Top Loops. These are more or less "everything but the kick" type loops with many of the same ingredients as the first folders, but taken in a more deliberately electronic and modern vibe. More extensive production is done on the individual instruments, unnatural reverbs, edits, and glitches raise their heads, and everything is basically a big mash-up of electronics and real percussion sounds used in unreal ways.
Finally, the collection rounds out with a bonus bank of Kick loops. These range from four on the floor electronic kicks playing solo to grooves that include percussion, tops, or chords.
It almost seems superfluous to review Wave Alchemy material any more other than to get the word out about it. They have yet to release a stinker, and on the contrary, everything I've had the chance to review was beautifully recorded, produced, and edited (check out the impressive list of outboard gear on the product page). If you're looking for some assistance in giving your house tracks that "something extra" to bring it over the top, you'd definitely be well-served to check out this release. [9/10]