No stranger to any big drum and bass fan, we got the opportunity to catch up with the almighty Break of Symmetry Recordings to find out what he’s got in store for this year, how he manages to maintain such a high output of tunes, what music he’s feeling currently, and what he would do if his music collection ever set on fire!
Dose: Hi Break! How Are You?
Break: Good Thanks.
Dose: You had a very successful last year with the release of your Other Side LP, your single on Critical, remix work for Total Science, and collaborations with Octane & DLR, Silent Witness, Mikal and more. You just kicked off 2013 with a lovely VIP of your own track “Love So True” backed with the menacing Enei remix of “Watch Out,” what will the remainder of 2013 hold for Break?
Break: There are lots of tunes lined up for release on Symmetry, Xtrah is working on an E.P. including my Remix of Cyrax (Xtrah’s 1st tune on the label). We’ve got 5 or six releases scheduled after that, so it should be a good year for tunes.
Dose: Your name entails a clean, creative, funky, and heavy sound within drum and bass that’s uniquely your own, how do you manage to maintain such a high level of creativity and output? Where do you draw influence from the most?
Break: All the music I’ve listened to really. In my youth I went from Grunge to Hip Hop, and then got into Garage and Jungle in the mid 90’s all of that stuff has inspired me. I have worked on production and composition every day for 15 years, I just love making and playing music, I’m not sure where the creativity comes from but it needs to come out one way or another. I played about 9 or 10 instruments at a school age, that helped to set me up with a good musical understanding, which I always try to bring into my Dnb productions.
Dose: Your track “Love So True” was a big hit of last year and the VIP has already attained a lot of praise and plays, can you break down your influence behind the track and how it came to you?
Break: I love dub music, one reason for the title. I just wanted to bring some proper dub flavas into a Dnb track, because people throw in one sample and suddenly its dubby. There are a couple of samples in that track, but I’ve played in a lot of the instruments and did a few backing vocals for the VIP. One thing I love about dub is blissed out acoustic music, building up to a heavy bass drop down, lashing Space Echo delay’s on the vocals is always a lot fun, I prefer that sound in general to steroid synth music.
Dose: Being friends and a frequent collaborator with DJ Die, how do you feel about his Gutterfunk label and JusNow project? Will we ever see Break explore a different tempo or style of sound aside from the more roots-reggage/dub influenced stuff like on The Grand Funk EP? Any unusual releases we may see on Symmetry in the future?
Break: Yea, I’m really liking the stuff they’re releasing, I’ve made a lot of other tempo music over the years but not released it as Break, I do have several more oldskool dub tunes, and some house tracks that I’m gonna release on Symmetry this year. Myself and Kyo, who has done several of my dnb vocals, have been working on an Album for the last several years, of all different styles and genres, the band is called Degrees of Freedom, that’s where most of my output of non dnb has gone. We’re really excited about getting these tunes out this year, as we’ve held it back for so long. Dnb is kind of a job/ addiction you can’t escape, in good and bad ways, so a lot of stuff has gets back burnered, which I’m really trying to change at the moment.
Dose: Your Other Side LP and Symmetry Podcast Series showcase a lot of young talent such as Emperor, Eastcolors, and Enei. Do you feel the increased accessibility and reduced cost of production software/equipment has set the bar higher for up and coming producers? As a label manager, what attracts you to a demo and what’s the best way for a producer to get their music to you?
Break: It’s a bit of a double edged sword, for me the guys you’ve mentioned would be really good whatever time they had come through due to there talent and dedication, obviously now everyone has access to make tunes for a much lower cost, but for me the whole things a bit like in the 90’s when everyone had decks, and then realized you’ve got to put a few years in if you want to be any good. There are some of these new guys that are scarily good for their age, but every generation should get better, or the human race wouldn’t really advance.
Dose: What artists are you currently listening to at the moment? (In and outside of Drum and Bass)
Break: I’m feeling Hybris, he played an amazing set at the Symmetry night at hidden, every tune was great, same with Mikal’s sets, I can rave to the whole thing and love all the tunes. Rhythm and Sound, has been getting spun a lot at home, I love Mad Professor and Prince Fatty at the mo, amongst lots of other dub. Amy Winehouse, Lioness album is fantastic same with The Roots new one, I prefer to take production inspiration from stuff like that.
Dose: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
Break: My mum I think; if you’re feeling self conscious or nervous, the person/s you’re talking to are probably having similar worries so don’t stress and just be yourself.
Dose: What’s a typical off-day for Break like? What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of producing?
Break: Pretty much just get up and work on music most of the day, I’m in France at the moment doing some Snowboarding. I don’t really do much active stuff when stuck in the studio all the time, I’m trying to get on more adrenaline sports this year as it’s a part of my childhood that’s been lost for a while.
Dose: If your house was on fire and you could save one piece of vinyl from your collection, which would you grab?
Break: Although I love my vinyl I’d be more worried about the computer and hard drive with all my music on, I do have a backup drive at my Mum’s house, as I have considered that issue before, but its about 5 years out of date, so thanks for the reminder…..Nice one…Cheers