Dirty Arse Drum Breaks Vol. 2 Review
For those of you who are not familiar with South London based musician and engineer Timmy Rickard (@timmyrickard). He is the visionary behind The Dirty Arse Drum Breaks (Vol. 1), a collection of 163 royalty free drum breaks of varying tempos and styles. Performed, mixed, and arranged all by Mr. Rickard himself. When Timmy set out to create the Dirty Arse Drum Breaks series he did so with a minimalist, organic approach by utilizing some of todays leading recording technology along with some “technological wonders of yesteryear”. We’re talking a recording chain that includes a set of 60’s Gretsch drums, Bosphorus Cymbals, Coles Drum Mics, an Api Preamp and more. The results Timmy achieved are nothing short of amazing. Loops so dirty Mike Rowe would be proud yet so clean your mother would be too!
Timmy’s Monosole Music and our fine friends at The Drum Broker have done it again, with their sophomore offering to the series with Dirty Arse Drum Breaks (Vol. 2) let me just say; this is not one of those cases where the sequel outshines it’s predecessor. DADB (Vol. 2) is a much smaller collection of loops weighing in at an anorexic 98 Drum Breaks, which is considerably less than the original. Don’t get me wrong the outstanding sound quality remains in tact. He used the same recording chain that gives DADB (Vol. 1) it’s now famous raw, robust characteristics; reminiscent of a smoky underground jazz lounge in London.
When I first opened the DADB (Vol. 2) loops folder I was pleased to see that they were all well organized in folders by BPM. They ranged from (81bpm – 119bpm). Another added bonus was that the BPM information was encoded on the actual loops which made auditioning them a “snap” when using a DAW that automatically stretches audio to the song tempo ie; (Studio One 2 or Abelton Live). That in itself is such a powerful “workflow” enhancer. I immediately opened my DAW and was able to “dive” right in to the creative process. I have to give Kudos to Timmy for it’s the little things that count!
The breakbeats in (DADB Vol. 2) have a wide range of uses and how you choose to work with them are truly limitless. I “chopped” some of breaks so that I could play them manually to add some variety and ” break up” the 8 bar monotony. Other times I was able to find one or two loops in the same folder, I could “string” together and make an interesting 16 bar loop. Often times (because of the use of a live drum set) I found that some or all of the breakbeats did not seem to fit well with certain genres of music. I struggled to find anything relevant to EDM or the increasingly popular DubStep music scene. I also noticed that there were a very small almost non-existent amount of drum rolls included. I’d definitely like to see the inclusion of drum rolls that coincide with the breaks in (DADB Vol. 3)
Overall I’d say this is a good addition to the ever growing DADB series but not great. I did make a few tracks I considered “keepers” while using the (DADB Vol.2) I do see some areas that need improvement, mainly that the breakbeats seem to be geared more toward Neo-Soul, Some pop and lounge genres. Nothing wrong with that; but I think the music community as a whole can benefit from having some of Timmy Rickards’ Dirty Arse DrumBreaks in their producers “tool box”. They are a fine collection of expertly crafted loops brought to us by a man passionate about sound quality and the “golden era” of music.