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Heartbreakers: DC Breaks

One half of the D&B group opens up about an Adam F classic that gets him all weepy.
November 10, 2015, 10:40am

In the Heartbreakers series, we look at the dance floor tearjerkers that make your night special, whether that's at the height of your high or the plateau. Electronic music has the power to break hearts and this is an appreciation of those songs that get us all misty eyed. This time round we asked Dan Havers, one half of D&B dons DC Breaks, to get his tissues out.

'TickTickTickTickTickTickTickTick….'

I'd never heard anything like this before! My teens coincided with the 90s, a great era of British music. I was more of a musician in those days, in that I was obsessed with guitars, keyboards, effect pedals and the like. Radiohead, The Prodigy, Blur, Oasis, Pulp… looking back it was a hell of a decade! But something completely different had caught my attention, and had led me to spend hours hanging out in record stores like Section 5 and Blackmarket Records. D&B was on the rise, and I was caught up in it. The sounds were completely futuristic, the sub bass was ridiculously heavy, and I was loving it! But all of a sudden there was this one record which had a kind of retro yet futuristic vibe, and a mixture of live instruments and synths… I couldn't get my head around it! The hooks were catchy, there was a mixture of vocal samples, a double bass, a crazy melodic synth lead. In fact the biggest hook was the double bass. Mad.

Being a shy young teenager, I didn't ask what it was when it was played in the record stores, I had to dig through crates of vinyl listening to each one before I found it! At school I'd been messing around with an Akai 950 sampler (cutting edge for the time!) and a few synths trying, unsuccessfully, to replicate the kind of DnB I'd heard until then, big breaks, zappy sounds and big epic pads, punchy subs. But this tune spoke to me in ways the other tunes hadn't it, and opened my mind to the possibilities of using my own instruments in making D&B, and taking a more musical path. It seemed to bridge a gap between so many different styles of music I was taking in back then, Motown, indie, soul, world, trance, rave…The structure of the track evolves all the way through, and does different things, introducing new elements and vibes along the way. It was completely at odds with a lot of the more formulaic stuff that I was hearing, and appealed to my more adventurous mind. It was a bit if a watershed moment for me, it was like I suddenly knew what I had to do!

Not long after that LTJ Bukem released Logical Progression 1, and I was in heaven! There was a lot of harder D&B doing the rounds as well which I loved too, but this musical vibe was what inspired me to make my own stuff. I got my head down, got the guitars out, got the rhodes samples out, organs, synths, live percussion, sampled whatever I could get my hands on, and weirdly very nearly signed a record deal when I was 16! I was sitting in the A&R's office listening through to the 'album' that they had somehow got their hands on, and just didn't really have a clue what was going on haha! I was so green, I had no idea what the opportunity was that was in front of me! Needless to say it kind of fizzled out and I think the label even closed down not long after, but for some reason I didn't really care. I hadn't been making music to be released, I was making it for myself and just kind of blissing out, sneaking into raves and having a lot of fun! Turns out I had to wait another six years before being offered another one!

The Dirty Mix of DC Breaks' new single "Breathe" is out now on Beatport via Ram Records and a version by Adam F himself is forthcoming.

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