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!


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