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MatthewH
16-02-2011, 05:34 PM
Does it seem strange to anyone else that we're currently almost completely devoid of that typical breaks rhythm: i.e. kick on the 1 and 3, snare on the 2 and 4?

I was never a huge fan, aside from some of the Plumps stuff or maybe Bedrock Breaks around 2001-02, but I'd always just expected it to be around. Now it seems like there's a big hole in dance music just waiting to be filled by that particular rhythm.

Occasionally I'll hear a straight breaks rhythm in some of the more future garage-style stuff and think "oh, I guess it's coming back" but it never seems to.

Sectionfive
16-02-2011, 05:47 PM
'Breaks' still exists down-under I think.
Outside of a few exceptions I always hated it.

hint
16-02-2011, 05:56 PM
I thought breakbeats were coming back?

Skream's chopped jungle throwbacks at 140.
Stuff like Greenmoney's "Tropical Step": http://mp3.juno.co.uk/MP3/SF1699594-02-01-02.mp3

Although I'm not really sure what you're referring to with the "kick on the 1 and 3, snare on the 2 and 4" part with regards to breaks.

Leo
16-02-2011, 06:00 PM
i was never a fan either, but i wonder why "discerning music fans" never supported it. too bloke-ish? it was often portrayed as dumbed-down dance music for rock fans, never seemed to have any artistic cred. there must be some decent stuff...who's the kode9 or ill blu of breaks? :-) was/is there a cool breaks underground? anyone worth checking out?

hint
16-02-2011, 06:06 PM
It was never really cool because it was polished and trancey before all the cool kids decided that being polished and trancey was a good thing after listening to lots of 00's R'n'B.

MatthewH
16-02-2011, 07:32 PM
Although I'm not really sure what you're referring to with the "kick on the 1 and 3, snare on the 2 and 4" part with regards to breaks.

Classic example: http://mp3.juno.co.uk/MP3/SF1476142-02-01-01.mp3

Boom-tick-clack-tick-Boom-tick-clack-tick etc.

Sometimes it was Boom-tick-clack-tick-Boom-Boom-clack-tick-
or Boom-tick-clack-Boom-Boom-tick-clack-tick.

...but the basic idea is that there's rarely any swing in the groove and the snares are spot on the beat. 2-step was more interesting (IMO) because the snares often didn't fall exactly on the beat.

Leo
16-02-2011, 07:55 PM
i was also thinking of slightly less trancey stuff like uberzone, crystal method, monkey maffia.

continuum
16-02-2011, 08:59 PM
there is amazing stuff in this genre but you need to do some digging

wonk_vitesse
17-02-2011, 08:32 PM
Nowt wrong with breaks but for now we need a good 'break' from them i rekon. I'm sure they'll come back but i'm not missing them just yet.

michael
18-02-2011, 06:41 AM
Kicks on 1 and 3, snares on 2 and 4 became a huge thing in hip-hop beats over the past decade-ish, though. Just with heaps of shuffle, I guess. And frankly nothing like the same feel as those breaks tunes.

I know it's a totally trainspotter call, but it always did my head in how much of the "breaks" genre didn't involve breaks.

IdleRich
18-02-2011, 10:43 AM
"It was never really cool because it was polished and trancey before all the cool kids decided that being polished and trancey was a good thing after listening to lots of 00's R'n'B."
Yeah, I remember when I would see people such as Freq Nasty and Adam Freeland or whatever and be saying to my friends that "this music sounds entirely computer generated from start to finish without any kind of human input at any stage" - not necessarily as an insult, more as just a descriptive thing but I could see that that inhuman polishedness could put people off.
Why is it called breaks?

BareBones
18-02-2011, 03:48 PM
a few years ago after a night out, i ended up at a friend-of-a-friend's house, which friend-of-a-friend was himself friends with one of the plump djs. the plump dj was there as well and was wearing a tie around his head and acting really wacky. he was a right wally. that's about all i have to say about breaks.

JWoulf
19-02-2011, 01:33 PM
Kicks on 1 and 3, snares on 2 and 4 is about as straight as you can make a rhytm. boom tick boom tick boom tick.

But yeah breaks were used in so much shit music that no "hip" people wanted to touch it. Of course this just means it will come a point when it becomes the new cool thing, probably this thread will be what turns the tide.

hint
20-02-2011, 08:23 PM
Why is it called breaks?

It was originally "Nu Skool Breaks", wasn't it? The early days of Adam Freeland playing d'n'b records at 33rpm. Ils and Tipper on Fuel. Rennie Pilgrim and TCR. That earlier stuff was certainly more "breaky" than some of the stuff being referred to here I think, and is around the period where I lose track of any further developments.


Classic example: http://mp3.juno.co.uk/MP3/SF1476142-02-01-01.mp3

Boom-tick-clack-tick-Boom-tick-clack-tick etc.

...but the basic idea is that there's rarely any swing in the groove and the snares are spot on the beat. 2-step was more interesting (IMO) because the snares often didn't fall exactly on the beat.

OK - I see what you mean. It's not something I associated with Breaks, but I guess it's a route the sound went down after I lost track.

I put on the radio in the car last night. Mista Jam played this and I thought of this thread and your description:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AgzXeDp-TU

nomos
20-02-2011, 08:37 PM
typical breaks rhythm: i.e. kick on the 1 and 3, snare on the 2 and 4

Why is it called breaks?

It was originally "Nu Skool Breaks"
I'm still confused after hearing some of the clips. Breaks doesn't have to have break(beat)s in it?

Sectionfive
20-02-2011, 09:58 PM
Why is it called breaks?

Mixmag?

I liked the trancey stuff like Hybrid or Way Out West when I was younger and later the bits with West London connections.
People like kraftykutz too that kept the hiphop in it, not so much the rest though.

Probably saw alot of crap DJs though to be fair.

MatthewH
20-02-2011, 11:58 PM
I'm still confused after hearing some of the clips. Breaks doesn't have to have break(beat)s in it?

Nope. In 2001-2003 breakbeats (i.e. the Amen break) were totally out of fashion in 130-140 bpm music. It was largely individual kicks and snares, from drum machines or whatever.

I noticed the same thing in some dnb at the same time as well, actually. Some of the True Playaz crowd, for example, were using individual samples - the heaviest possible - instead of lifting breaks. Didn't happen to the same extent as in Nu Skool breaks though; you still heard a lot of Amens.

Can't help myself but here are a couple of standout tracks in my books:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ifuZ9FNVtQ
http://soundcloud.com/en-vision/back-in-the-day-ek-remix-c83-env006

Dr Awesome
21-02-2011, 01:58 AM
To be fair, the vast majority of dnb made since roughly 2002/2003 has stopped using sampled breakbeats in favour of individual hits/kits. Those that do are normally sliced up beyond all recognition anyway...

Some guys buck that trend however; Fanu probably being the best example. Lots of the drumfunk'y type stuff feels like it uses real breaks that are just chopped up - or at least used to.

routes
21-02-2011, 11:06 AM
i guess stuff like instra:mental, breakage is pretty much breaks to me... zero swing, druggy amniosis, tracky arrangements with clever edits, trancey squiggly bits, precision engineering... very computery

http://soundcloud.com/nakedlunch/boddika-grand-prix-nakedlunch

nomos
21-02-2011, 02:27 PM
Nope. In 2001-2003 breakbeats (i.e. the Amen break) were totally out of fashion in 130-140 bpm music. It was largely individual kicks and snares, from drum machines or whatever.

I noticed the same thing in some dnb at the same time as well, actually. Some of the True Playaz crowd, for example, were using individual samples - the heaviest possible - instead of lifting breaks. Didn't happen to the same extent as in Nu Skool breaks though; you still heard a lot of Amens.
Yeah this happened earlier in DnB too with the techstep and neurofunk stuff. But they had the sense not to name their music after something that wasn't in it. I'm quite vexed by this.

MatthewH
22-02-2011, 03:08 AM
Yeah this happened earlier in DnB too with the techstep and neurofunk stuff. But they had the sense not to name their music after something that wasn't in it. I'm quite vexed by this.

Think of it this way: most breakbeat house got faster and turned into jungle in the early 90s. Some of it stayed the same and the breaks gradually got replaced by individual samples, while keeping the rhythms approximately the same - relative to a 4/4 beat anyways. Eventually the name got shortened from breakbeat house to just breaks. Make sense?

At some point maybe most dubstep will turn into drumstep and the stuff that's left at 140 will start using halftime breakbeats or something. Some wag call the new style "dubs", the name will stick, and we'll have the reverse phenomenon. That would be typical.

Ok, I think I've pushed this off the trainspotter deep end at this point. :o

Slothrop
22-02-2011, 05:13 PM
It was never really cool because it was polished and trancey before all the cool kids decided that being polished and trancey was a good thing after listening to lots of 00's R'n'B.
TBH I thought it was pretty dull even before it was polished and trancey. It mostly just seemed like the ultimate MOR dance music - not as minimally futuristic as techno, not as funky as hip hop or house, not as cheesily epic as trance, not as fast and dark as dnb, not as unashamedly fun as big beat, not as ruff as garage. So what was the point? What was exciting about it?

Corpsey
22-02-2011, 06:10 PM
When I was at uni all the gal dem loved breaks. Breaks nights were pretty fun, even though the music was a bit shit.

continuum
22-02-2011, 06:29 PM
At some point maybe most dubstep will turn into drumstep


The bro wobble lot play drumstep at the end of their wobble sets already but i agree with you the dogs will return to their master (dnb) eventually

MatthewH
24-02-2011, 02:11 PM
Speak of the devil:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pun2Qpb3-e0&feature=related

Straight-up electro breaks. Brand-new stuff sounding like something from a Stanton Warriors set from 2002.

skweeelicious!
05-03-2011, 01:19 AM
There's tons of brilliant breaks records if you know who the artists are.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RlAaXx4hgY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLCguI4yUOI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI2TkR0Zwww

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_jFonymLtk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3XHANcChoM

daddek
05-03-2011, 08:10 PM
there seems to be an assertion that this tempo (130ish) + drum groove (unswung 2step/"funk" patterns) + aesthetic (electro / rave / hiphop) is generally a bad place. And truthfully, that turn of the century "nu skool breakz" scene was hadly the pinnacle of electronic music. im sure there were some good records & some well intentioned artists, naturally. but most of what i've heard combines everything i didnt like about scenes that i otherwise did like,with all the vitality sucked out.

But that doesn't mean the stylistic place is inherently bad. That scene has totally evaporated now, it's now safe to re-explore that area without getting sucked into the shit. I think Boddika is proving that it can be done well. His tunes sound raw, aesthetically tight and authentic - exactly the things that 2000ish sbreaks failed to be.

MatthewH
05-03-2011, 09:05 PM
Some good points there, daddek. Your formula [tempo (130ish) + drum groove (unswung 2step/"funk" patterns) + aesthetic (electro / rave / hiphop)] could be used to describe Untold if you just subtract the hiphop influence. Yet nobody would drop Untold and Adam Freeland next to each other in 2011.

Personally, breaks was big as I was getting into dance music and coming from more-or-less a hiphop background it was a lot more "safe" of a choice. I just automatically assumed I'd prefer it. A 4/4 kick drum just sounded like gay club music at first.

So maybe there's a hypothesis there: breaks was for clubbing amateurs that had unresolved musical homophobia issues. If you resolve them you eventually end up listening to US garage, if you don't you end up listening to jungle. Either way you move on.

skweeelicious!
05-03-2011, 11:48 PM
uk breaks is/was one of those styles whose parameters are too vague to make it a winner. like all genres the early records were more experimental. as with jungle, producers played with snare placement making for some exciting tracks, but eventually it got codifed to a standard backbeat. but unlike dnb or dubstep, breaks never really developed anything but a loose formula - 130 bpm and snare on 2 and 4 is about it. no definitive sounds or structure. not really.

more than anything, the initial artists - rennie pilgrim, adam freeland, tipper - quickly got bigger than the genre itself and left it behind. breaks wasn't doing them any favors. lots of breaks artists followed - koma and bones, atomic hooligan, chris carter, elite force - but nobody broke through like a goldie or grooverider or skream or rusko. so it stayed 2nd room music or 3rd room music always. eventually all the producers but a few moved on to house or dubstep or whatever.

Dr Awesome
06-03-2011, 12:27 AM
So maybe there's a hypothesis there: breaks was for clubbing amateurs that had unresolved musical homophobia issues. If you resolve them you eventually end up listening to US garage, if you don't you end up listening to jungle. Either way you move on.


Hahaha. That's fantastic.