Music Tech Review: Friction & Icicle Drum'n'Bass
Friction and Icicle are two leading lights in the modern drum and bass scene, offering up a combination of liquid grooves and minimal tech synth tones. Along with business partner K-Tee, Friction has pushed his Shogun Audio label to the forefront of the D&B scene with an eclectic range of cutting edge releases. The latest pack from Loopmasters sees Friction and Icicle team up for a varied collection of dance floor-ready beats, deep-tech synths and heavy basslines.
The download pack comes in your choice of ACID WAV, Apple Loops, Reason Refill and Live Pack, and also contains 71 sampler patches for Kontakt, EXS24, HALion, SFZ and NN-XT. First up are 104 loops ranging from 170-175bpm, with rounded, snarling bass sounds, deep-tech synth riffs and pads and a combination of upfront rolling beats and more quirky, glitch laden grooves. The production is excellent throughout, with thick low-mids where appropriate lending a warm sound, and all the synth loops being kept on a tight leash in order to retain space in the mix.
Although there are plenty of lashing beats on offer, most are a little more refined, with careful programming and tight grooves. There’s also a bonus folder containing eight classic breaks and drum fills for you to chop up and load into your sampler. The bulk of the pack is actually made up of the sounds and FX section, where you’ll find a large number of bass and synth hits, multisampled bass and synth instruments, ravey stabs, innovative-sounding FX and 277 heavily processed drum and percussion hits. Although a lot of the sounds here lack the originality of the loops, they’re solidly produced and offer a large range of staple D&B noises. That said, we enjoyed the inventive FX section, which features eerie stabs, processed vocal hits and risers made with machine noises, as well as the crunchy, processed drum sounds that would easily cut through a mix.
This is a well rounded pack full of both classic and original, new drum and bass sounds. Most of the hits and loops are kept quite short, so you’ll have to do some programming work to fill out your arrangement, but these elements make this an excellent raw resource for D&B and electronic music producers.