Road to LOCUS Tulum Featuring – Break

Ahead of his debut at the third edition of LOCUS Tulum, we had a chat with the drum & bass visionary about what he is looking forward to at the festival and his latest album.

For the studio nerds, he is one of the most technically prolific drum & bass producers of our time; and for the bass heads, they are gifted with Break’s music, almost whenever they ask for it. Combined together, these attributes make Break one of the most consistent producers and DJs to have graced drum & bass. 

Because of his profound impact on the genre, Break’s signature style of heads-y drum & bass characterized by his bouncy and punchy drums—is now simply known as the Break sound, and that’s the beauty of Break’s music. Despite his trademark sound being applied by producers in a multitude of ways, Break never fails to make a statement every time he releases music. Four critically acclaimed albums, with his latest long release dropping in 2023, Break and his Symmetry Recordings imprint have played an influential role in drum & bass for the past two decades.

The Bristol-based badman is now all set to sail his way from his city’s waterways to Tulum for LOCUS’ five-day annual showdown next week. As he packs his fast-paced rhythms and intricate distortions for his journey, we caught up with the man himself for a quick chat about his debut at LOCUS Tulum, a successful 2023, and his plans for 2024.

Having Break at LOCUS Tulum is a moment we’ve waited for ever since the inception of the festival in 2022. What are you looking forward to when you land in Tulum?
Break:
The beach, sunshine, and some wicked vibes at the festival. Hopefully some good Mojito’s too. I’m really excited to be here this year, too.

2023 witnessed another masterful long release from Break, which was one of the most important releases of the year. Talk us through the experience of working on your latest album?
Break: My album Digital World was the main release in 2023. There were several singles, and then the full release dropped in May. It’s tough as always doing an album, there’s so much to organise with vocalists, mixdowns and the whole promotion mission, but we got it out and I’m really pleased with the finished product. Having so many great vocalists on board really brought it all together.

Sonically, what is Break planning to bring to LOCUS Tulum?
Break: A bit of everything really. It’s the same with my DJ sets as with my production, I’m into all styles so there’s some liquid, tech, jump up, steppas and everything in between. Sonically it’s all about heavy bass, crispy tops and soulful sounds.

Symmetry Recordings has long been one of the most influential labels of the genre and one that has defined the high-syncopated end of drum & bass. How do you envision the label’s progression in the years to come?
Break: I think we’ll just keep doing what we do. I’ve got a new batch of stuff set for release this year, including some remixes and releases from some amazing artists too. As with my own production, we like repping all sorts of flavours, they’ve just gotta tick the right boxes and fit the vibe of the label.

What was your favorite moment on the road in 2023?
Break: I think the Fats dedication set at Sun & Bass with MC GQ was really special. It was one of the most emotional sets I’ve played or been a part of.
The crowd was amazing, and the vibe of the festival was awesome too.

How is 2024 looking like for Break?
Break: It’s looking exciting. There’s lots of travel planned and I’m blessed to get to go to places like Mexico for, which is a first for me. I’ve got a bunch of singles planned and some great gigs I’m really looking forward too.

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