Around the start of this year, I decided to focus on producing beats and I also said I wanted to make break beats. I wasn’t exactly playing or listening to this specific type of music before my declaration, but I felt I should really do some research before deciding whether or not I can do it.
Long story short, break beats include the instrumental sections of funk and disco songs where the bass and the percussion really go crazy. These break beats are often associated with break dancing so they’re often high-energy and repetitive.
I’ve always had a problem with playing repetitive stuff. I can never get a loop station or pedal to work right; I also tend to forget what I’m playing when playing repetitive stuff. My struggles with repetition can sometimes make jamming tough and they definitely make it tough to learn songs. (I mean, practicing is repeating things over and over…) So why would I torture myself by making loop-based music? Because I can hear it in so many of my favorite songs! Hip hop was pretty much invented from repeating sections of a song! I love dance music and pop music! Ed Sheeran is known for using a loop station in his one man shows! The instrumental bands I really enjoy like toe, LITE, chon, Polyphia, and Covet play repetitive music! I clearly don’t have a problem listening to repetitive stuff, so I thought I’d give it another proper chance before shying away from it.
I started my research in Spotify with search terms such as “break dance songs” and “instrumental funk” and was pleased to come across some music I already knew. I came across Head Automatica‘s Decadence album, which is a concept album (so I’ll probably never see songs like “Beating Hearts Baby” and “Disco Hades II” in person). I came across new music from Mr. Oizo, Little Dragon and The Chemical Brothers. I was even reminded about Rage Against the Machine, who is reuniting for a world tour, and ykz, a hip hop band from Japan that officially disbanded in 2004. I also stumbled upon the music of artists that I follow on Instagram, like Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, Vulfpeck, Fearless Flyers, and Snarky Puppy. There are so many artists making funk!
I was very pleasantly surprised to find some new artists to be interested in. I found Funky Bijou and Urban Dance Squad through Spotify, and I definitely want to listen to their discographies. I found Marc Rebillet through YouTube who improvises songs on stage and on live streams. His Spotify profile has a lot of music too. Brownout and Tame Impala also make some good dance-y stuff. Regardless… I have a lot more listening to do and I’ll definitely be posting more funky bass lines on Instagram.
Until next time…