EDM Wiki

Breaks, as a genre, holds a unique place in the realm of electronic music. The term "Breakbeat" encompasses two distinct meanings. Originally, it referred to "A breakbeat," a pivotal section within a song where most instruments pause for a brief interval, usually around one bar, leaving only the drums to carry the rhythm, often with altered melodies. Since the emergence of electronic music, "Breakbeat" has also evolved into a genre known for its distinctive characteristics.

In the early days of Breakbeat, when it was still primarily a rhythmic concept within various music styles, pioneers like Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, and Afrika Bambaataa played vital roles in shaping the concept of breaks. These iconic figures paved the way for the electronic incarnation of the genre.

As Breakbeat transitioned into a distinct electronic music genre, labels like Moving Shadow, Suburban Base Records, and XL Recordings played significant roles in releasing early Breakbeat tracks that captured the essence of the genre. These labels provided a platform for emerging artists to experiment with the Breakbeat sound.

Modern innovators like The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, and The Prodigy pushed Breakbeat's boundaries, fusing it with elements of other genres to create cutting-edge sounds that resonated with audiences worldwide. These artists not only defined the genre but also paved the way for its continued evolution.

In recent years, Breakbeat has seen a resurgence, with labels like R&S Records, Critical Music, and Viper Recordings releasing new iterations of the genre. Contemporary artists such as Noisia, The Upbeats, and Mefjus have been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of Breakbeat, infusing it with elements of drum and bass and other electronic styles.

Notable subgenres within Breakbeat include Big Beat, Nu Skool Breaks, and Atmospheric Breaks, each exploring variations of the core breakbeat rhythm while infusing diverse influences to create captivating and dynamic auditory experiences. Through its journey, Breakbeat continues to captivate listeners with its rhythmic complexity and ongoing sonic evolution, making it an integral part of the electronic music landscape.