Some high tempo artists like to skirt around and above the edge of apocalyptic chaos, giving dancers a clear view of the rhythmic wreckage. Then there are beatsmiths like Breakforce One, whose new release Let The Label Label You dives directly into the fire, Mad Max-style. His Picks selection provides insight into his sonic motorfuel technology.
Being asked to contribute to this series of editorials, I was having a hard time finding an interesting or meaningful topic for this list. Reading some of the other entries made me want to find something deep and unique, but I guess I'm just not that kind of person so instead I'll talk a bit about me. Here are 10 Tracks that had a huge impact on me musically.
Obituary - Slowly We Rot
It was 2006. I was 10, still lived with my parents in the town I grew up in and Lordi have just won the Eurovision Song Contest with "Hard Rock Hallelujah". I was enamoured. A Rock Band playing hard ass music dressed up like monsters that looked straight up like the drawings I made? (I was a messed up kid) Great! I bought all their albums and listened to it religiously. One day I talked to my dad about it and told him how Lordi are the sickest hardest thing in music and how much I loved them.
My memory is a little foggy as this was 12 years ago but I remember him getting up without saying anything, walking to his CD Collection in the living room and coming back with a copy of "Slowly We Rot". "What is this?" I thought to myself while looking on the grotesque cover that depicts a rotting corpse on a street. Then he pressed play and HOLYFUCKINGSHIT THIS IS AWESOME! Slow, moody guitars, that gong and then the insane vocal work by John Tardy, who I still regard as one of the best Metal vocalists of all time.
My mind was blown and I instantly went from listening to US Rap (which I didn't even understand a word of back then, it was just on the radio a lot in Germany) to Metal, and I never regretted that. My Dad is responsible for me digging aggy music and this is the exact moment in time where I turned to that.
For completion's sake I'll say that Entombed's Left Hand Path would've been here instead if I wouldn't have remembered which specific tune it was, as I also heard it for the first time back then and it remains my favourite track.
Aphex Twin - Come To Daddy
This is the big one when it comes to my own music. I started learning drums when I was 6 (although quite unsuccessfully), and when I heard this track I wanted to just give up on everything and make electronic music just like this one. I first heard it on an MTV Show called "MTV Masters", in which they discuss music videos by topics that change from episode to episode. The Episode in question was called "The Best Music Video Ever" and it was a crucial part in shaping my taste in music, including tracks like Rabbit in your Headlights as well, which I still love.
But Come To Daddy - of course - is an entirely different beast. That shit scared me so bad. I'm not telling anyone anything new here, but Chris Cunningham is a genius and he did an amazing job directing this video. I'm not the biggest AFX fan, if you've ever seen me discuss it you will know, but this track is an undisputed masterpiece and - although I know it is supposed to be a joke - it's a genuinely great exercise in dark, claustrophobic atmosphere which not a lot of people can quite reach with their music.
I tried tracking this genre down after I saw the video, and for years I thought it was called "Drill and Bass", going by some Youtube comment. That led me to stuff like µ-ziq, which was alright but not what I was looking for. It was only 2 years or so later until I read the word Breakcore for the first time, in the comments of my next track…
Doormouse - Skelechairs (Venetian Snares Remix) [WARNING, GRAPHIC VIDEO]
I was really into Gore Films when I was 13/14/15, because that was the age I went from being very sheltered when it comes to media to having access to an own laptop and the internet. I was looking for the worst, most horrible movies out there and I loved every single one of them. During my research I came across Gore Montages on youtube and this one was the point where my life turned upside down.
What is that sound playing there? I haven't heard anything like that since Come to Daddy a few years earlier. But this was... More raw. Very aggressive. Sort of like Metal, but without any real instruments. God, this was awesome. And there it was, "Breakcore". I immediately googled it and for the next few months I was obsessed with listening to everything I was able to find. Around the time a classmate introduced me to FL Studio, and during my first few trial bits I chopped up amen breaks and put metal guitars over it, because that's what I was listening to at the time. Hastily - waaaayyyy too hastily - I put a 4 track ep together and put it online. At the time of writing I can't even remember the name of it, but I released it under the - also hastily picked - name of "Breakforce One" and that was that, here we are.
TechDiff - Eat Drink Fuck
This is a stand-in for basically any TechDiff Track on Peace Off. Eat Drink Fuck has become a bit of a joke in my circle of friends now because it's basically "that one track everyone knows/plays", but it's still probably my favorite Breakcore anthem. TechDiff is the undisputed king of clean, technical Production in our genre. His "Black Dog, Released" EP doesn't even sound like there is any distortion going on, but it still kicks all sorts of ass, outdoing anything that belongs in the same '230 bpm Peace Off-y Breakcore' Category by miles in hardness, production and overall sense for music. Eat Drink Fuck has all of that too, in addition to catchy vocals. I love how the amen edits and crisp gabber kicks go along with all the melodic content in the background. Something I would say is TechDiff's biggest strength.
I don't make music like this a lot, but when I do then this is the inspiration. And when I'm not I still listen to this guy's tracks and it's a great incentive to work on my production.
Candy Cutz - Feeling Yeah (weyheyhey !! Remix)
I could talk at length about weyheyhey !! But I've done that on every social media portal I've ever been on at length and there's really not much to say other than that this is what I want my breaks to sound like in every track I do. Also that piano is great. ONE TWO THREE FOUR!
I:Gor - Total Confusion
If you've ever seen me play out in a club then you've noticed that 1) I barely play any of my own music, if at all and that 2) I also mainly play Hardcore and Crossbreed. Why is that? It's a complicated question where not even I really know the answer but this track is part of it. I did not realize how much I would ever love 4/4 Hardcore until I heard this.
It's a very redundant thing to say, but in my opinion I:Gor is next level. He takes arguably the most repetitive genre in hard electronic dance music and makes it his bitch. That kick still is the best kick I've ever heard, it's now 6 years old and he has made many more tracks that are technically speaking even better. But wow, nothing in the world comes close for me when it comes to drops and I like to play stuff like this out a lot more than my own more jungley productions. Extra points BTW if you drop this at 200BPM. It makes it even better.
Limewax - Jupiter
If you ask me what my favourite Music Genre on certain days, I will answer with "Skullstep". Skullstep is a stupidly name not as bad as IDM tho let's be honest… super specific subgenre of Drum'n'Bass that I can't really define other than "the stuff Limewax makes". And that's enough. Limewax without a doubt is the best Drum'n'Bass Artist out there, I will argue with anyone who disagrees. This stuff is continuously blowing my mind by how repetitive and blunt, but also exciting and well produced it is. I tried replicating this sound so many times, and I just can't do it. It's this weird thing where the right sounds, the right mixing and the right pacing comes together to form something as pure as this without sounding weak or boring. I play skullstep sets from time to time and there's little bits of it in my music too if you know where to look for it.
Shiken Hanzo - Bushido Code
I recently discovered this dubby, sort of halfstep Drum'n'Bass Stuff, it fascinated me so much that I started making it under my first alternative alias "In Search Of Shores". I can't remember what track I heard first exactly, but from all the stuff I listened to so far, Shiken Hanzo is by far the most exciting. That guy manages to create not only actually scary atmospheres, he also manages to avoid doing the 1-2-3 Dancehall pattern in every song and leaving it at that, and instead opts for more exciting drum rhythms, even when it's based on that pattern.
Audio88, Yassin & Morlockk Dilemma - Todesflöte
This had no impact on my music but if I can get just one more person to listen to (pre-2016!!!) Audio88 (&Yassin!!!) then I'm a happier person. It's the most cynical music ever and it's fucking great.