Break – [Interview]

DJ Break press shots taken at in Fulham, London. 11th August 2008. Photos by Zen INOYA

Bristol based producer Break; Head-honcho of Symmetry Records who’s been at it for a very good while now on a prolific tip, gunning tunes in his intricate manner is at it again as we caught up with him what’s VIBES!

BFTR: Hi Break, cheers for taking the time out firstly. Care to to enlighten the masses who don’t know who and what makes up Break?

BREAK: It’s one guy myself Charlie. I’ve made DnB and other music for about 15 years, releasing on all the main DnB labels including my own Symmetry recordings.

BFTR: Can you tell us a what phases you’ve gone through in order to get where you are now?

BREAK: I started writing music quite early on, making loads of demo’s and remixes as a teenager. I then got some tunes heard and got my 1st release on Eastside records. Once I got some links with the DnB labels it wasn’t too hard to get tunes signed and out there. I went on a roll and got a lot of music released and then started my own label in order to have total control and payment from a release. I then released two albums on Symmetry and since have been signing music from other artists, we have a wicked catalogue building up now.

BFTR: What’s your studio set-up like?

BREAK: I use a Mac Pro with Logic, an Allen and Heath mixing desk, some nice outboard gear, but a lot of it is done in the computer these days. I use Eve monitors and Audeze headphones which are both fantastic, I’ve been back in my house for a year waiting for a new studio space, so it probably looks like most people’s home setup really.

BFTR: Can you talk us through your typical workflow from idea development to conception?

BREAK: It does vary to some extent, I don’t always start with a beat for eg. Most of my better tunes start with a sample or small loop giving some atmosphere in the intro. Working forward from this with beats and then hearing a drop come in after the intro I find is an easier way to get a good one, just trying to plonk bass sounds in dead space with no context can be really dry and vibeless.

BFTR: How do you deal with ‘hitting a brick wall’?

BREAK: Generally leave it and come back another day, I’ve tried to battle through so many, you just wind yourself up. When you come back fresh, it seems so easy suddenly.

BFTR: What’s your trusted piece of equipment/software?

BREAK: I love Wavelab, I’ve always used that from day one. Its got the best wave view I think, and is the easiest for prepping audio, and converting stuff etc. Logic is average for de clicking and audio montages etc, I’ve always loved my Dbx 266, amazing value for fat and real compression, a lot of my best drums have gone through that.

BFTR: Can you break down for us the tune you’re dropping on Symmetry now “Steam Train” and if this was the initial vibe you were going for?

BREAK: This one’s a good example for question 4 too, I found an old 60’s record in a charity shop called the “Sound of Steam” or something. It had some wicked old skool steam train samples, from chopping those up and getting some steam atmosphere and some metalic train noise stab hits I had a vibe straight away that was much cooler than some soft synths in a laptop. The basses are 808 kicks’ s resampled through Emu samplers and some other hardware. That lead to a driving heavy runaway steam train vibe, the beat probably took 80 % of the total time though, a real mission but worth it when you finally hear it loud in a club.

BFTR: Can you think of the one tune that got you hooked on DnB?

BREAK: Babylon

BFTR: What are the 3 greatest dnb tunes for you?

BREAK: That’s a bit tricky, I’ll leave out the one above. Helicopter Tune, Titan, Hard Noize.

BFTR: And your musical influences are?

BREAK: Sounds cheesy but all good music, I’ve been into everything, mainly 90’s Hip Hop, 60’s Jazz / Soul, 70’s Dub.

BFTR: What’s a stage performance fail you’ve ever encountered with yourself?

BREAK: I’ve done most of them, kicked out the main plug, ejected the wrong CD, spilt beer on a playing vinyl, broke the mixer with sweat…..gotta be done though.

BFTR: How have you found the progression with your imprint, where to from here with Symmetry?

BREAK: It’s been really enjoyable progressing with the label, we get sent great music and I’m always please when someone wants to give a wicked tune to the label to release. I’m always trying to make sure we get the cream of the crop compared to other labels.

BFTR: So how do you perceive the scene at the moment?

BREAK: It’s a bit strange in some ways, a lot of the culture of Jungle has been lost, its not about bass and sound systems now, more phones, laptops and soft synths. It does depend where you are and some people get lucky with their local scene. I think because you very rarely get a proper DnB rave these days most young people have never experienced eye watering bass coming off a dubplate. Youtube really isn’t as fun. There’s amazing potential with new producers everywhere and loads of people would love it if they could be exposed to some more good stuff in general, DnB like most things has got very corporate and capitalist so its harder these days to find the real music.

BFTR: Out of all the tunes you have, which one ‘never fails?’

BREAK: I guess my recent track “Love So True” which kind of encapsulates everything I was saying above. Heavy Sub bass, dub flavas, and jungle vibes, it always gets the crowd smiling and screwfacing.

BFTR: Any release rounds you’re gonna be doing on any other labels this year?

BREAK: I’m just finishing tracks at the moment for Playaz, Dispatch, Utopia, Metalheadz, and few more in the pipeline.
Nice one guys…..
Big ups to everyone in S.A. supporting Symmetry and good DnB in general.

BFTR: BIG UPs on our side for hitting us with this interview. All the best vibes, bruv!


Chimpo – Frontline EP – (Soul:R) – [Review]


Soul:R, home of some of the veterans we’ve grown to respect.Sees a release that intends to stir up some vibes on the dark side of this music. This time in the form of “Chimpo“, a name which might have occured in conversations but the face being a blur. Much rounded artist who delves both in production and blistering the microphone when he sees fit. This 4 track EP, Frontline, is one to set the bar high with the Manc formidable forces like Dub Phizix and Skeptical on the track Buzzin‘ which will have you chanting. “Frontline” is a fiesty little runner with “Fox” bricklaying the lyrics graciously so, Calibre’s take on this is a chopping break running through the entire tune giving off dem jungle vibes. And “All Over” crafting mellow sceneries. This sure is a huge release, one that’s going to be doing the rounds for a long time.

Release Date: July

Symmetry – Break/Detail – Steam Train/Days Go By – [Review]

“Break”, certainly a bad man on the radar is back at it again on his brainchild Symmetry in his distinctive manner of production. Steamy haunting intro and just a little rugged on the flow. “Steam Train” is combative in it’s approach, set to orchestrate atrocities on the dance floor with malicious synthesis that grows to be twisted out of shape. What else could one expect from Break non other than mind fucks?

It’s not too long ago that that “Detail” dropped a slab of dance floor dementia with the release of Green Rain. Steady rocking the the DnB scene, new ears have themselves wondering why haven’t they heard of this dude? It’s ’cause he’s fairly new, and seeing as he’s about to be making the rounds on a few renowned imprints, Symmetry label sees him delving deep into some winding down vibes with “Days Go By”, well layered with the sensuous vocals of Tiiu and a bassline set to design feelings. With a kick snare now that inspires a gentle nod and a tapping of the foot. Influential music it at hand.

Release date: 15 July

Mampi Swift Records – MSR001 – Mampi Swift – Soldiers / Silence – [Review]


One of Drum and Bass’ veterans Mampi Swift comes back again into view bagging what seems to be a teaser of what’s he’s been brewing in his lair from his forthcoming “History LP” which has been on the lips of many for quite some time now. Back once again with a solid release on his newly founded self-titled imprint “Mampi Swift Recordings”, the EP brings forth bags and bags of enthusiastic force with the track “Soldiers” trumpeting it’s way throughout, heavily soaked in the largest dark vibes known to man. “Silence” rattles in on the intro only to tumble down in your ears with an insistent stabby lead. Weighty production, history lesson at hand. This release means business!

Release Date: Has been pushed to the beginning g on August.

Killscreen Records – Thrashpilot – Firewalker / Calisthenics – July – [Review]


Jim Kennedey otherwise known as “Thrashpilot” is back from his hiatus emerging with a brand new release under his brand new imprint as well called “Killscreen Recordings”. Having taken a lengthly chill his production seems to be a bit of a history lesson having suss’d out the scene’s evolution since his last releases. The two tracks bear futuristic retro composition, aligned with techy distorted beat arrangement breaking into experimentalism and aquatic bridges and rolling back into business as usual. “Firewalker” and “Calisthenics” are blistering production masterpieces.

Release Date: 15 July