Friday, 30 October 2009

RIP Breakcore 1997-2008

A strange thing has happened in the underground music world: breakcore has officially died. It's been circling the drain since 2006 but my worst fears have been confirmed. Ever since I heard Donna Summer's Birthday Party Berlin mix I knew things were shifting. Within a few months Cardopusher was making dubstep, Kid606 and AC Slater started releasing bassline and then Bong-Ra announced his new dubstep project, "Dubstyx". Drop The Lime jumped the good ship breakcore some time ago with his own brand of electro-bassline but Bong-Ra's conversion is surely the end. Hell, even Sickboy is dabbling in electroclash now.

It's not even that I don't like dubstep, electro or even bassline; it's just I would rather have both. I was talking to a friend about this recently and he said that even Hoonboy had made the conversion, doing a fucking house set for Creamfields. It's not that people aren't still making breakcore and hardcore; it's that the scene has completely died, being confined to bedrooms and tiny rooms above pubs and bars. And even so, it's becoming increasingly difficult to catch any breakcore or hardcore producers live.

But I do honestly love the things that are happening with electro and bass music. Donna Summer's productions still retain the humour and fun of his hardcore tracks. Equally, Kid606's tracks still pack an aggressive punch. But, Cardopusher's efforts have so far been dismal; the fast basslines feel too much like Rusko-lite and there's none of the inventive sampling and wit that made his breakcore stand out from the crowd. Worse still, Knifehandchop and Shitmat seem to have dropped out of the game altogether.

Aaron Spectre, on the other hand, is a beacon of hope. Having let the Drumcorps project take a backseat, he now seems to be focusing on ambient electronica with elements of dub and breaks. Hopefully, others will follow his lead in making more introspective, experimental breakcore and we can see a return to the 2004(ish) with more releases like Venetian Snares' Rossz Csillag Alatt Született, Jason Forrest's earlier LPs and End's Sick Generation. There is also promise of a new Panacea LP this year, but I'm not expecting anything great.

I suppose they have to go where the money is, it's just disappointing.

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