Continually sitting on the cusp of mainstream acceptance, the career path of Breakage seems to echo the passage of underground bass across the past decade.
Real name James Boyle, the producer emerged from the last embers of drum 'n' bass. Since then, Breakage has flirted with arena-style dubstep – all bombastic synths and atomic sub-wave – before recently experimenting with House.
New EP 'The Promise' is a case in point. There are moments of rave abandon, while Dismantle's contribution adds a pop edge to Boyle's in-yr-face production style. Three tracks of up front, hands-in-the-air anthems the release allows us to escape the bleak mid-winter by reminding us of the summer's heaving festival crowds.
Catching up with James Boyle, we probed the producer on his current movements.
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It's been a long time since 'Fighting Fire'.. briefly, what have you been up to?
After the last album, remixes and 'Fighting Fire' I just took things slow for a bit, not quite time off, but more figuring out exactly what way I want to go musically for the next album and learning new techniques and strengthening the things I already know.
What led to this move towards a more house influenced sound?
It just happened really! It started around 'Foundation' I think, tunes like 'Higher', 'Justified' and especially my remix of 'Dog Days' by Florence + The Machine where defiantly more "dance" orientated. It just naturally happened that way!
Have you always had an appreciation for house?
100%! I grew up with my foster brother listening to early house and hardcore, so it just stuck with me from there. I also have the biggest soft spot for mid/late 90's anthems… Guilty pleasure ones!!
You add plenty of bass weight, how do the two link together in your head?
I have no idea, I just do! It's the one constant in all my music I think… I have a big dub influence and I think the bass and sparseness in it will always stick with me in any music I make.
The new EP is out as a free download, why go down this route?
We just figured it was a departure from my usual in a lot of ways. Also, I was getting loads of people asking when something new was coming out since its been a good while. What better way to say thanks for the wait and show theres material on the way than to give something away?
Vocals on 'The Promise'.. is that a sample or did you work with a singer? If so, who was it?
It's actually a sample recreation! 'Ass Up' features Dismantle, how was that collaboration? Something you enjoy? It was awful!! Nah, was great working with dismantle, we're mates and gel really well together in the studio too. We're actually working on more…
Do you play rough dubs in your set? Do you ever tweak tracks based on audience reaction?
I always play roughs in my set, it's the best way to check a tune in every way from mixdown & arrangement to crowd response… There are always tweaks to be made, it's just know when to stop before you go too far!
Could you see yourself going back to making a straight up drum 'n' bass track?
Yeah, if the mood takes me… I actually did one about 6 months back and played it out a few times. I never rule a tempo/genre out, I just go by the idea and what I feel like making at the time really.
What's next for you?
Gigs, remixes, Another album and eating lots of burgers.
Download 'The Promise' HERE.
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'The Promise' is out now.