Break: “It’s definitely harder to stick with your guns” (UnCut version)

Categories Interview, Music

A tiny bit more than two months ago, the mighty Break, founder of Symmetry Recordings, master of tight, smashing beats was one of the headliners at the celebration of the “20 years of Hungarian drum and bass” event in Budapest. Since he is legendarily famous for giving interviews once in a blue moon, I am still absolutely honoured by being one of the few

How did you like this party in Budapest

It was a really cool party, amazing to see 3 rooms of drum’n’bass with a packed club.

It’s not your first time in Hungary. Which is the most memorable gig for you from them? Why? 

To be honest I haven’t been in Hungary for a few years (the latest was in Eger in 2009), my gig memories get a bit cloudy, but I’ve always had a good time in Budapest, I enjoyed seeing the city on other visits.

What memories do you keep from us? 

Great food, hospitality, and everyone I met was very friendly. These are the most important memories.

What is your opinion on Hungarian drum and bass? Favourite DJs, producers, events…? 

It is a really strong scene. I’ve been a fan of Chris.Su for many years. Mindscape and Jade are really good producers also. Bladerunnaz is one of the most professional events I’ve played anywhere, it’s a world class team.

In your opinion, what is the current direction of d’n’b worldwide? Trends, tendencies…? 

It seems there’s two main branches: the commercial stuff has got very cheesy and generic, but the underground stuff has grown bigger and stronger in recent years. A lot of producers play into the method of over the top build-ups on every tune for crowd reaction, but the crowd are bored 10 seconds after the drop. I crave a more sustained groove and energy in a rave, other genres have suffered this less than d’n’b. Hopefully this trend will change in the near future.

Simpler Times” – personally, this is THE LP of 2015 for me, despite being published in October. (Madly in love with Confidential. :)) What are the characteristics of those times in your opinion? What do you have nostalgia for?

Thank you, that’s much appreciated. It’s partly what I mentioned in the last question, in the 90’s when d’n’b was a newer scene. It was more about the music and originality, it was less of a popularity contest where people play in clubs just to take a Facebook photo of the crowd. I had been listening to lots of Jungle in the time I made Simpler Times, and I missed the idea of tunes having a distinctive character and idea in them, that’s why the album is quite varied, I wanted to cover much of my inspiration for making drum and bass.

You were born and raised in London, it’s just more than a decade that you are living in Bristol – because of the music. What are the advantages/disadvantages of it? 

Bristol is a much easier place to live. In London, everywhere takes at least an hour to travel to, in Bristol it’s more like 15 mins. More of the people I meet in Bristol are creative in general and there is more love for art and music with the average person who lives here. I think it is a great city to make music in as a lot of the superficial elements to London aren’t celebrated here.

Played all brass instruments, except for tuba, piano since 7, drums since 12, produced from about 15 – did you have anything else in mind than being a musician?

My godfather is a fashion photographer in New York. I almost took a job as an assistant with him, but I was only 16 then, and didn’t want to move abroad at that age. Music has always been my main passion though, I can’t really imagine doing anything else.

Why do you find important to give track names based on homage to the original breakbeats? (For example: Isis, the original is: The Sorcerer of Isis).

I think it’s cool to recognise the inspiration for the groove or sound of the track. Those guys put in hard work on that drum recording and playing, that effort is part of my song, so it’s only fair.

What are the 3 things you are most proud of? Why?

Not selling out in the music scene. Having a loving family and amazing girlfriend. Being able to follow my dreams for a career.   It’s definitely harder to stick with your guns than to get swept up in the mirage of media-fuelled trends. It’s a difficult lesson to learn that the grass isn’t always greener, but I’m proud to have made an effort in practising this.

Why did you decide to start your own label (Symmetry Recordings)? What should be symmetric and how? (“thy fearful symmetry”) 

Mainly to release and have control of my own music. Many people that sign to other labels lose sight of their style and originality, I’ve never been a fan of working for a boss!

Similarly to London Elektricity, whom I managed to interview a couple of months ago, do you find it difficult to get a symmetry/balance between managing the label and producing/DJing? How do you manage this issue? 

It is difficult, but try and look at it simply that the weekdays are for studio and label, and the weekend is DJing. There’s not many days off or holidays, but at least I’m doing something I love.

Any up-and-coming talent on the label you’re particularly excited about? Why? 

Boston is a new artist who will have his third release “Panoramic” EP coming soon on Symmetry. (Click for his interview in English and/or in Hungarian) He’s from Cardiff in Wales, which is quite close by to Bristol. He is very talented for his age and plays many instruments really well. I love how he incorporates the musicianship into his productions. Many producers paint by numbers with synths, I love hearing guitars, keys and vocals etc. in songs, it feels much more like real music. He’s definitely one to watch, and he’s a wicked DJ, too.

 What is your funniest stage performance fail? 

Nothing too horrendous (touch wood). I’ve definitely tripped over power cables and unplugged the whole sound system a couple of times.

Your absence as a private person from social networks is legendary. What was the funniest thing related to it? 

I don’t know, I guess every photo people take with me can’t be tagged, so it’s like, who’s that guy in the middle. I still don’t understand the big excitement with social media, it doesn’t seem that social for everyone to have their head pointed at a phone, get back to reality! Studies show that in real life most people have about 25-100 real friends – since social media started that number hasn’t changed, it may have even dropped. I find that quite funny.

Your non-d’n’b project with Kyo and Max Taylor, Degrees of Freedom released an EP, Children of the Sun in 2015 at Gutterfunk. Are there any new releases coming? 

We have a new release “Without You” coming out in April. This release is a vocal House track. Most of the music is different genres, we take that kind of inspiration from bands like Groove Armada or Massive Attack. The main vibes are Reggae/Dub, House/Disco and Hip-Hop/Trip Hop, I’ve always made these genres from the beginning but never had a chance to release them, so that’s what this project is all about.

Have you already created music for a film? This is said to be one of your goals. 

I’ve made lots of film music for fun or practice but never hooked up with a film maker or agency to have anything placed. It’s definitely one of my main goals. If any Hungarian film makers have a film they need music for get in touch!

What artists are you currently listening to at the moment? (any genre) 

Bill EvansGregory PorterSurreal and the Sound ProvidersThe Four Owls and Thelma Houston.

Your IQ is said to be 160. Is that true? 🙂 

Not that high….where did you hear that?! 🙂 Haven’t done a test since I was a kid….probably lost a big chunk since then. 🙁

Which most useful, proven piece of advice would you pass on to your Hungarian 

Do what you love and do your best, someone will notice for a positive reason.

If you liked the article, you can follow me here. 🙂

Thanks, Pozsonyi Photo!

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