The EDWIN Music Channel calls on Dutch DJ and producer Yoël Bego aka Coco Bryce, to put his proverbial stamp on mix 112 of their series.
The Breda-based DJ came up as a hardcore spinner in the mid-90s, heavily inspired by the UK underground scene. Under his Coco Bryce moniker – which he conjured up in 2009 – he generates a relentless mix for EDWIN that deftly fuses together his club-honed influences; expect fast and furious, hard-edged jungle breaks with sound system plunges and an injection of airy atmospherics and tempo shifts.
The mix incorporates Bryce’s original material, his official rework of Flume’s ‘Sirens’, hardcore pioneer Bizzy B’s ‘Infactuation’, ‘Rescue Me’ by Mancunian brother-duo Response & Pliskin, and more.
Tune into the mix and read Coco Bryce’s interview with The EDWIN Music Channel below…
Hello Coco, when and how did your love affair with music start? What was the first encounter that stuck in your memory?
The first one that springs to mind is me trying to sing the lyrics of a song I’d heard on the radio to my family sometime in the mid-1980s. Nobody seemed to know the name though, and for decades I thought it was something by the Eurythmics. It wasn’t until about four years ago that I finally found out it was “We Just” by the band Moses. An 18-year-old skater homie of mine was playing it off his phone at the skate park. I completely lost it.
It’s said that your artist name is inspired by the character Coco from the 1998 movie ‘The Acid House’. If so, how often did you switch your personality into different bodies/characters? And do your various aliases like Chavinski, Ill Behaviour and DJ Y? represent these different personalities?
That’s correct yes. My first moniker was DJ Scine was formed back in 1995, then I started using the DJ-Y? one around the turn of the century. Coco Bryce was in 2009, followed by Chavinski a couple of years ago. I mainly use DJ-Y? for the hardcore stuff, Coco Bryce for most of the jungle and downtempo tunes, Chavinski for UKG and house. Ill Behaviour is the name of one of my labels, but not all releases are by me, even though someone added it as such on Discogs.
You started as a hardcore and jungle DJ in 1995 and you have been a member of the influential ZMK Soundsystem party serial and label. How does your hardcore past influence your current work and what did you learn from those days?
Things basically just went full circle for me. I started out with hardcore, breakbeat, jungle etc, then for a while I focused mainly on downtempo styles like hip hop, Skweee and a bit of dubstep, but I always kept playing and producing faster stuff as well. It’s just that for the past seven or eight years my focus has been mostly on the uptempo vibes again. It still feels the same to me, except nowadays I’ve technically grown a bit better at producing.
One of your latest DJ mixes for “The Ransom Note” features a haunting story arc that takes the listener from jungle and drum n bass to trance and techno. How do you see the relationship between those genres and how do you manage to unite them so fluently?
I was chatting to Billy Bunter the other day, and he described it as “it’s all rave music to me”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you have a bit of a feel for the crowd you’re playing to and can scope out which tunes to play at what points in your sets, genres become largely irrelevant in my opinion.
On your various releases, you meld UK Garage, 2Step, trance, techno, drum n bass, breaks, hardcore, jungle, and hip hop. How do you decide which style to cater for with each new release?
It’s mostly about how I feel certain tracks would work together on an EP or album, often regardless of the genre. Besides Chavinski being mostly 130/140 BPM stuff and DJ-Y? being just hardcore tunes. With my Coco Bryce releases I’ll often put a downtempo track amongst the jungle and breakbeat bits. It’s mostly about creating a certain vibe, more so than adhering to strict genre ‘rules’.
Your label MYOR was launched in 2005. What was the initial idea behind the startup and has it changed over the years?
Initially I started it with a friend of mine called Mart. That’s also where the Myor name comes from: the M and R are from his name, whilst the Y and O are from mine (Yoël). Until then, most of our output had been tekno and hardcore, since we both cut our teeth producing the type of music that would typically be played at free parties. Both of us were heavily into more breakbeat-oriented stuff as well though, so we started Myor with that in mind. Unfortunately, we ran out of money after a run of test pressings of MYOR 01 haha, so there are only 40 white labels of that release in existence. And it’s also why there’s a four-year gap between that one and MYOR 02. By then I’d gotten heavily into the wonky hip hop stuff and Skweee, so I released mostly that for a couple of years. Then when I started getting back into jungle and breakbeat hardcore around 2015, I felt it would be more apt to start a separate sub-label for it, and that’s how Myor Massiv came to be, the name of which was coined by another mate of mine, Vincent, who produces as Drvg Cvltvre and loads of other monikers.
Did you have any role models or inspirational benchmarks when you launched MYOR?
Not really, or not for the label specifically at least. It was mostly that we wanted a label to release whatever we thought was cool on.
MOYR has the sub-labels Diamond Life, Faces Of Bass, Ill Behaviour and Myor Massiv. What makes each sublabel unique? What does it represent?
Faces Of Bass is strictly 4×4 hardcore, in all its shapes and forms, be it acid, jungle techno or straight-up gabber. Myor Massiv is jungle and breakbeat hardcore. Diamond Life was meant to be mostly the more atmospherically side of jungle, but the lines between that label and Myor Massiv quite quickly blurred. Ill Behaviour is all cheeky bootlegs.
Does your Dutch residency town Breda influence your work as a producer or DJ, or could you operate from any place in the world?
I wouldn’t say it does. I think if it did, I’d be producing trance and Dutch house. Most of my output leans heavily on UK dance music, although of course the hardcore bits undeniably prove I grew up in the Netherlands.
On what future projects are you working on right now?
I usually just produce tunes without any specific release in mind, just stack them, and then when I want to do an EP or album or whatever, I’ll go through my list of available tracks and see what would fit nicely together. So, in that sense, it never really feels like I’m working on a project. I have an album coming out soon on Fresh 86 though, which is all downtempo stuff, but I finished putting that together about a year ago already. And I’ve got another album coming out early next year on Myor, which is more jungle-oriented.
When you look at your audience 20 years ago and now, what would you say has changed?
Hygiene I’d say. 20 years ago, I was mainly playing squat parties, so…
What was your biggest hit so far?
‘Wish We Didn’t‘. Not that I’d call it a hit, but it’s got the most plays by far of any of my tunes. I did a remix for Flume recently though, which seems to be doing quite well on Spotify, so who knows that one might take that spot soon enough.
How did you select the tunes for your mix for the EDWIN Music Channel?
When I do mixes like these, I usually go about it in the same way: I try to get a nice balance between unreleased music, a couple of old 90s records and some more recent bits that are already out. Style-wise I mostly try to meander through jungle, breakbeat and hardcore with a bit of piano and vocals and some 4×4 tunes.
If you were to predict the sound of tomorrow, how would it look?
I think, or at least I hope, that the more uptempo styles will remain popular within dance music. Also, more broken beats. If Dekmantel festival was anything to go off, I think my predictions will ring true for at least another couple of years.
Can you name a track that currently gets the most rewinds?
I keep going back to ‘Tasty‘ by Kelis, especially a couple of the tunes on there that weren’t in the charts, most notably ‘Flashback‘, ‘Rolling Through The Hood‘ and ‘Marathon‘. I think it’s the combination of superb pop song vibes paired with some of the most crackin’ beats ever produced.
Can you name a newcomer that the world needs to pay attention to?
What are your hobbies beside music?
When do you feel most at peace?
Probably during a good sk8r session with my friends.
What’s something you’ve learned through music that has helped you in life (and vice versa)?
Patience. I’m extremely impatient by nature. Getting a tune to sound exactly like how I want it often takes a fair amount of time, even for someone who produces quite quickly like myself. And on another level, but also related to music, it takes a lot of time for a record to get pressed, from the moment you submit the audio to when you finally receive the finished product. So yes, I’d say patience.
What are your favourite places in Breda and what makes the town special?
Oh, that’s easy: Bonk (the local skate shop), Pier 15 skatepark, my own flat and two pubs I often go to, namely Het Hijgend Hert and Mad Molly’s. I’m not sure I’d call Breda all that special for anyone who’s not from here though, but I love it because I’ve got loads of friends here. It’s nice and clean and rather calm, and if I want a bit more hustle and bustle, I can get on a train and be in a different city in no time.
Coco Bryce – Blossom
Coco Bryce – Yumiko
DJ Sofa – Champion Lover
Coco Bryce – Dasia
Coco Bryce – Celestial Road
Coco Bryce – Computer Love
Coco Bryce – Bubble Metropolis
Flume & Caroline Polachek – Sirens (Coco Bryce Remix)
Bizzy B – Infatuation
The Originator Krew – BPM
Paradox – Street Beat
Response & Pliskin – Rescue Me
Coco Bryce – Want U
Suburban Soul – Witchcraft
Coco Bryce – Shadow Weaver
DJ Y – Just 4 U
Raid EDWIN Music Channel’s previous mixes here.