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Genres / Breakcore

Breakcore is a style of electronic dance music largely influenced by Hardcore Techno, Drum And Bass and industrial music that is characterized by its use of heavy kick drums, breaks and a wide pallet of sampling sources, played at high tempos.

Breakcore is hard to accurately describe and musicians like Electric Kettle, Drop the Lime and Christoph Fringeli have argued that Breakcore is a catch-all term that encompasses various related, though different styles of electronic music that are related through mindset or aesthetics rather than sound. Regardless, there seems to be a common element of aggression or chaos, unconventional song structures and sudden shifts of rhythm in Breakcore music. Perhaps the most defining characteristic of Breakcore is the drum work which more often than not is based on the manipulation of the Amen break and other classic Jungle and Hip-hop Breaks in high BPM. The techniques applied to achieve this differ from musician to musician, some preferring to cut up and rearrange the breaks, while others merely distort and loop breaks or apply various effects such as delay and chorus to alter the break's timbre. Distorted Roland TR-909 bass drum sounds aren't uncommon either, which has led to Breakcore, either mockingly or affectionately, to be referred to as "Gabber kicks and Amen breaks" and while that formula is prominent in a lot of the music, it's certainly not a necessity or the end all, be all characteristic of the style.

Melodically, there is nothing that defines Breakcore. Classic rave sounds such as acid bass lines, Hoovers and Reese bass are common, but Breakcore is mostly known for sampling seemingly unrelated music from all over the musical spectrum to accommodate the frantic and fast paced nature of the rhythm section. Around the turn of the century however, more and more Breakcore musicians started employing somewhat more traditional synthesis techniques to compose more elaborate melodies and harmonies on top of the drum work. There has also been a growing numbers of musicians such as Drumcorps, Hecate, Benn Jordan and Venetian Snares who have started making some use of recorded live instrumentation in their music, but this is still a minority within Breakcore.

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