Breaka – We Move
London producer and DJ Breaka is part of that generation of millennial provocateurs who are totally unafraid to reference and counter reference, an iconoclastic approach that is arguably the result of a myriad of influences having grown up in the age of pop consumerism and Postmodernism. For Breaka, this has manifested in a supermarket of styles approach, borrowing from various styles and aesthetics and fusing them by way of his own, club ready point of view. He has an affinity for percussion, taking the heat of Latinx rhythms like samba and filtering these beats by way of jazz like syncopation, all while manifesting these influences in boundary pushing ideations of jungle, footwork, and techno. His eclecticism is balanced by a proclivity to master the intersections between these styles, creating forward thinking and often unexpected pastiches.
On his debut LP, We Move, this masterful stylistic clusterfuck is placed front and centre on an album that spans motifs from jungle, drum and bass, techno, and beat driven world music. Descending for instance, throws a bongo laden samba beat beneath UKG bass and techno synths, while Braille Steppa morphs dembow into footwork. Solaria is basically downtempo drum and bass, with sunny and loungey, jazzy chords and elements used to accent a whiplash-inducing breakbeat. Then, the entire track does an about face and jumps into some kind of jungle footwork hybrid in its final act. There are moments that hone in on Breaka’s percussion obsession, as is the case with Honeydrum which imagines UKG by way of earthy, loggy, wooden drums.
We Move is a unique specimen, a record that sort of fits into the current UKG and Jungle revival but solely on its own terms. Breaka experiments with these forms in the same way Blawan does with techno, pushing the boundaries of established convention in order to interrogate the crux of what qualifies as genre. A rejection of purism, Breaka’s point of view is innovative in the way that it understands how genre evolves and contradicts itself by way of creolisation. One thing informs the other, and any notion that there may be an authentic approach to dance music styles kind of negates the point of dance music in the first place. As a mode of shared experience and creative exchange, Breaka embraces the potentiality of what forms like jungle, footwork or UKG could be beyond their defined conventions, finding intersections in seemingly dissonant influences but making these links make perfect sense.
Listen to the title track from We Move below.