(After watching the UMF Live Stream this weekend, I was surprised at the severe homogeneity of music spun on the main stage. So in the spirit of underdog advocacy, I’m going to start writing about the less commercially popular genres of electronica that may never be classified as “EDM, bro.” I decided to start our journey with Breaks, or Breakbeat.)
I’ve listened to a tremendous amount of breaks in my life, but it’s not always on my daily rotation. I tend to listen to breaks in peaks and valleys, listening to only it for weeks, then going months without a single track. I was playing jazz trumpet at the time and the syncopation & irregular spacing of the beats instantly drew me in. I couldn’t find too much of it back in the Wild West days of Napster, Audiogalaxy & Kazaa, so the closest thing I could find to real breaks way back in the day was Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim.
The combination of the jumping bass, rambling beat, Walken being awesome and the broken sounds became an instant classic for me and a large portion of the US listening public if I recall correctly. This spiraled into a love affair with the DJ Icey.
I later got into Stanton Warriors, who recently took NYC by storm. But, the artist I’ve always gotten the most out of, is Krafty Kuts. Krafty kreates melodies that mash dozens of tracks a together over an hour, and is one of my undisputed masters of breaks. The vibe is undeniable, and check out his Summer 2013 mix in case you don’t agree with me (below).
It’s intensely difficult to find this kind of music in NYC, which is predominantly a House, Hip Hop & Electro town. Which brings me to some people I care about very much, Vitamin B.
These guys have been holding it down when it comes to breaks for years now, and there’s an authenticity here that can’t be matched anywhere else in the city. They’ve been in a few different spaces recently, but they’re settling in one of the premiere new spots in Brooklyn. That being The Paper Box. They’ve been nailing it with the talent coming in, with Mafia Kiss showing up on Friday. This guy did the very first Armory Podcast for my west coast readers, and is generally awesome breaks DJ. There’s a fluidity to his transitions that seem to maintain your energy & momentum as he flows through samples & tracks.
If you’re a long-time reader, you know I’ve sung the praises of these guys before, but now that I’ve gotten a slightly wider audience, I wanted to echo my sentiment again that THIS IS SOMETHING TO GO TO. Tektite, Tim & TAFCABI continue to be resident beat jedis, and this is a no muss, no fuss event. Show up in dancing shoes, go early for hoopy hour until 11:30 so you’re done with it by the time I get there, and enjoy yourself. This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor this Friday.