"It had to grow on me at first but now...
"It had to grow on me at first but now it has. I really like NY Cutz. It's 2 CDs worth of high quality fuel for anyone who loves to work on that downtempo breakbeat type of thang. Most of the drum breaks originate between 70 and 100 bpm. It's a good selection of stuff from drum breaks to basses, to weird noises and melodic riffs.
The bit which had to grow past my intrinsic distrust of all things pre-processed when it comes to sample CDs were the drums. They are pretty much all post cut up, post eq, ready to go fare, but as it goes they're rather funky, very fat, the attention to detail in them is impressive and most importantly they feel good.
They, and in fact all of the material on here benefit a lot from a healthy love of dirty, nasty, ridiculous and sometimes subtle distortion so they have plenty of character and the clean stuff like melody riffs are given great swathes of clean space to hang in.
NY Cutz provides a fine set of traditional, sensible, obviously usable things like a truly magnificent acoustic bass collection and some damn fine analogue synth programming but you only need so much of that and there's a healthy air of the total loony about it too. I particularly like track 41 on CD2 with its little snippet of something which allegedly sounds remarkably like a spoof version of the theme from the 'High Chaparel', played on an Ocarina (a strange bulbous flute type instrument which is probably medieval in origin because it sounds like a really stupid, sad owl!)
As far as the title goes, i.e. NY being its place of origin, it doesn't sound like US hip hop and it only manages to nod in the direction of r&b a couple of times, but hell who knows....it was made by a cat called Vinnie Zummo!"
"Firmly in the hip hop camp is NY Cutz...
"Firmly in the hip hop camp is NY Cutz which claims to be the most complete collection of sounds and styles from the East Coast camp. This double CD is packed with useable stuff and each track on the first CD follows the construction kit format. A short mix is followed by the isolated constituent parts of the groove allowing radical deconstructions of some pretty radical material.
Tempos range from a lazy 63 bpm to the comparatively frantic 109 bpm, but with hip hop the attitude is everything and this disk has it in abundance. Disk 2 is packed with low-fi loops, melodic grooves, scratches, synth and guitar licks which can be combined with the stuff on the first disc for further customisation. If you're into hip hop, this really must be seen as an essential purchase. It would also be handy if your music leans towards the experimental."
Awarded 9/10 - Key Buy Award
Awarded 9/10 - Key Buy Award
"One of the things I like best in a beats-oriented sampling CD is the construction kit approach. Another is a package that's truly filled with usable stuff, not filler. On both counts, NY Cutz is a winner. It's a double CD (audio only) packed with down-tempo hip-hop grooves. Many are mellow enough for a ballad, but there's some aggressive stuff too. Besides, sometimes it adds to the statement if the music is laid back while the rap is more brutal.
In searching for a CD to review this month, I auditioned several where a single two-bar sample was looped four times to make an "eight-bar" groove, quote-unquote. To me, that's a waste of space, and borders on being an insult to the intelligence of customers. N.Y Cutz isn't like that. Most of the beats are exactly two bars: They give it to you, and then they get out. The first CD is all construction kits - 92 tracks of them, ranging from 63 to 101 bpm. First up in each track is a full-on mix. That's followed by the drum loop, the bass part, usually a chord part, and from one to three samples of assorted noise.
The basses break down about half bass guitar, half synth. The chords, likewise, are an assortment: Wah-wah guitar, stereo chorused Rhodes, synth pads, you name it. These tracks don't give you the kick by itself, the snare by itself, and so on - but to do that, they would have had to leave off half the beats. Given the way this stuff is going to be used, a packaged drum loop is the way to go. You've got enough bits and pieces here to do some real arranging. Also, I always find it educational to hear how a mix is built up out of layers. The individual samples, when soloed, have mostly been gain-normalized, and it's cool to hear some little half-buried noise sample brought up front so you can savor it. Many of the samples are fairly noisy - and I mean that in a good way.
It adds a lot to have vinyl crackles, bits of overload distortion, bass finger noise, and random scraps of half heard audio intruding from some other dimension. "It's more than just New York cuts," Greg Rule noted. "Loops like the one in track 10 take me straight to Minneapolis. It's a smooth, synthetic groove a la Prince." The second CD has 63 tracks of great raw material, with less attempt to coordinate it into neat musical packages. You'll find dozens of rackety beats, some with just drums and others with lots of embedded sounds, all listed by bpm. There are plenty of wacky sound effects - mostly in a very street vibe, not sci-fi stuff - plus chord patterns, stabs, riffs, electric guitar licks, and so on. Also a very usable set of jazz bass samples, both riffs and single notes, and a huge selection of up-to-the-minute kicks, snares, and hats.
"I wish the melodic loops were longer,' Greg said, "and went through a couple of chord changes. As it is, you may have to do a lot of pitch-shifting to use a loop as the basis for an arrangement." Two or three of the samples in the two "Old Recordz" tracks worry me a little, license-wise. Maybe producer Vinny Zummo, who did a frankly outstanding job creating his own beats, actually reproduced (or dreamed up) these bits by hand rather than lifting them from copyrighted sources (Note from Zero-G - As a recording artist in his own right, Vinnie lifted these samples from his very own record releases, so there is no copyright problem).
With this CD, a sampler, some creativity, and a little patience and care, you're almost guaranteed to come up with some great tracks - and that's why we gave NY Cutz our coveted Key Buy award. It's got the goods."