"..What elevates this collection above the norm, though, is that ticking the right stylistic boxes is only the start. In particular, Soniccouture have paid much attention to careful and creative use of effects, in some cases giving the loop a front-back depth which throws particular elements into sharp relief, and in others shading around the typically grating and spiky textures to blend them into a usable whole. The use of stereo field is particularly virtuoso, lending a shifting, swirling quality which nicely complements the unsettling atmosphere of the production as a whole.
Another thing that separates the sheep from the goats with any electronica library is whether each loop becomes more than the sum of its constituent samples, gelling into something with an unmistakable touch of real humanity. This is the magic ingredient that makes me impatient to start using a library even before I've finished listening to it, and there is no mistaking its presence in Abstrakt Breaks. As much as it might seem an odd thing to praise in a glitch library, there is a rare fluidity to the programming here which really sets it apart and makes you want to make music with it.In short, don't let the price mislead you — this is a serious, professional product for musicians, albeit a compact one."
Mike Senior, Sound On Sound
"....Each kit contains a fully mixed rhythm loop plus further loops breaking down its composite sonic layers. For browsing purposes, this setup is great, because you can use the full loops to audition lots of sounds quickly, but you can still mix and match to your heart’s content, especially if you can use the REX format in your music system.
At the low end. there’s a good deal of variety, with enough 808/909-style action to please the Roland die-hards but also a range of tight, punchy, and sub-less kicks for situations where you’re already hefting a Manhattan-munching bassline. There’s a definite electro bias (as you’d expect from the ‘dubstep drums’ subtitle), which, despite a certain amount of creative distortion, gives the low-end delivery a direct and sinewy character that always feels like it means business.
The textures manage to remain clear and detailed despite inventive use of crunchy, granular effects and various modulation, delay and reverb treatments, which is something that a number of other libraries I’ve heard struggle with. If there’s too much going on in a sampled loop it can be difficult to fit anything of your own convincingly around it, but there’s lots of space to manoeuvre here, and you can always drop out any layers you don’t want, given the construction-kit format. The spaces in the rhythm arrangement also allow the carefully applied effects to shine through, and this contributes to an unusually deep and characterful soundfield, which I found very atmospheric.
What really makes or breaks an electronic beat library, though, is the sensitivity of the musicians doing the programming, and I’m pleased to report that my high hopes in this department (based on my experience of the Abstrakt Breaks libraries) proved entirely justified. There’s a real art to bringing together drum machines, edited breaks and glitchy sound-design into something that coherently drives a piece of music forward, but SonicCouture make it look simple. Thoroughly worth the outlay."
Mike Senior, Sound On Sound