Awarded 4 out of 5
Awarded 4 out of 5
"Following on from the superlative Total House and Total Drum And Bass, the third part of Zero-G's soundware trilogy certainly has a lot to live up to. In keeping with its older siblings, Total Hip Hop comes on three CDs; disc one takes care of all of the drum loops, disc two handes all of the instrument, vocal and FX sounds while disc three contains all of the data from discs one and two, stored as WAV files.
House and drum and bass music tempos are generally clearly defined and live within certain narrow margins with hip-hop. However, the tempo boundaries on this CD are slightly more blurred. The drum loops on disc one range from 65 all the way up to 125bpm. It's not just the tempo that can be elastic either, as the sheer variety and colour of the loops demonstrates. This gives the distinct impression that virtually any form of music could be considered 'hip-hopable' as long as there's a drum loop in there somewhere and the bloke at the front has his baseball cap rotated far enough.
Luckily, the quality of the programming is what you would expect if you have heard the other two releases. Regarding the depth of sound, musicality and sheer usefulness, the Zero-G name on the cover denotes that these loops will not disappoint. Disc two kicks off with a huge number of bass licks. So large is this collection that it takes up the first 43 tracks. Acoustic, electric and synth basses are all covered and, in each case, you get a good number of multisamples, as well as the riffs, which generally work very well. One pleasant surprise is the Brass section (tracks 44-52) which includes some wonderful live horn riffs alongside some authentic and expertly performed solo sax and trumpet lines.
The Guitar section is also worthy of note, featuring all manner of acoustic and electric sounds. Although there are a few riffs here, the focus is mainly on electric guitar effects and single notes. These cover a fairly broad spectrum of tones and, as such, would work nicely over a wide range of musical styles. The synth section features both pads and multisamples but it's the 'Strings For Films' samples that mark a real high point. These contain some fabulous live string section recordings of atmospheric and highly 'soundtracky' chord progressions, followed by some short clarinet samples, flutes and a gimmicky 'Silly and Crazy' section which contains ultra short snatches of exactly the type of noises you'd expect.
There are a few more 'effects' tracks and some interesting (if slightly unoriginal) 'scratchy' spoken vocal sounds, before proceedings are rounded off with a collection of spare drum loops. Considering this disc's sampling pedigree I would have loved to award it five stars but I find that I just can't do it. Whilst the range of sounds is both impressive and highly usable, there is much here that simply isn't hip-hop (clarinets, ethnic flutes, thrash metal guitars and so on). The drums are the strongest part of this release and, although it offers a credible and often inspirational sampling journey, you can't help feeling that Total Hip Hop is a Return Of The Jedi in sampling form. Still, great value for money though. "
"This is the latest in the excellent...
"This is the latest in the excellent Total series which already boasts the impressive Total House and Total Drum & Bass. This one lives up to the reputation Zero-G have built over the years as one of the finest sample CD producers on the planet. It follows the usual Total format with one CD jammed full of breaks and beats, the second full of individual hits, instrument riffs, vocal snapshots, FX etc. The third CD is everything in .wav format for instantly importing into your computer.
The beats are rough, heavy hip hop beats with loads of attitude. There are nice rolling jazz style beats, phat and punchy style beats, dirty grainy style beats and percussive lively style beats. Basically there's something for everyone on here, totally hip hop. Beats range from 65 to 125 bpm and there are roughly 400 loops! The second CD features drum fills, individual drum kicks, snares and all types of percussion. Acoustic and electric basses follow with loads of riffs and individual tones and FX.
There's also a brass section with sexy sax, trumpet stabs and riffs and the acoustic and electric guitar section has nice riffs and licks. Keyboards and synths follow, then strings, flutes, scary and special FX, vocals, vinyl scratches and effects and, finally, some grooves. In fact, everything you might need to create that killer hip hop backing track. This CD is definitely on the must have list, it's so full and varied and well worth the asking price.
Awarded 8 out of 10 and Future Music...
Awarded 8 out of 10 and Future Music Platinum Award
"Time for another of those Total.... compilations then. Total Hip Hop features a few sounds you've probably already got plus some you might not have heard. It brings together an eclectic selection of samples for all you hip hop headz out there (if that's what you're still calling yourselves these days; we're in Britain, not the Bronx for crying out loud).
Anyway, hood status aside, lets get down to the nitty gritty. Kicking off at barely-even-there 65bpm, the breaks are generally on the hard'n'heavy side. Some of them will probably be a little over-processed for many people's liking, but nevertheless, there are some cleaner loops just ripe for the picking. The loops go all the way to an almost garage-esque 125bpm, so you're bound to find something here for your every need.
Even the lazier producers among you are catered for with some small but perfectly formed fill and single hit sections. Bit of a result. The instrument section comes next and it's grand despite some incredibly cheesy brass licks. The bass, guitar, keyboard, strings and woodwind are all excellent though, and it makes a refreshing change to see so many usable real-life instrument sounds all together on a double CD. The sound effects are pretty damn good as well and even the scratching isn't hopeless, but the vocal section is a bit on the small side. On the whole, Total Hip Hop can be described as Total value for money. This is a great value for money collection which is ideal for any producer, at almost any level."
"We're big fans of the 'Total' series;...
"We're big fans of the 'Total' series; the quality of the included samples is invariably excellent, and with three CDs to each volume, you're certainly getting value for money. The hip-hop offering is no exception, and kicks off with masses of beats that are filed in ascending tempo order. Though these are classy, many still have a dirty edge, and a good range of kits have been used. As well as fills and percussion hits you get a selection of instrumental offerings, the majority of which have jazz leanings. In this context, the synths did feel a little out of place, though for a change, there are some reasonable vocals to play with. A fine offering, then, though there's stiff competition in the hip-hop field...."