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Touching Bass: Breakage

We chat to Breakage about making tunes in his undies, the intricacies of the Sleep Cycle app and the direction of his next project.

Stringing together arpeggios with amazing dexterity hasn't always been a skill of mine. And maybe despite all my attempts at VirtualDJ, I wasn't cut out to stand in front of a sardine-packed room, raise my skinny arms and forebode the next drop with some Caesar-esque gesture. But me and Breakage do share one God given talent. We can both sit within the confines of our humble abodes and tightly fitted Calvin Kleins while he makes tunes and I pull together verbose phrases, respectively. It's a beautiful thing. On this particular occasion, I was fully dressed before I chatted with the electronic music chameleon responsible for the likes of "Fighting Fire". For the resulting Touching Bass, it's summer beverages, iPhone apps and the impending Breakage LP on the talking agenda.


Noisey: Are you enjoying the sun?
Breakage: Yeah, surprisingly. After such a long period of crap weather it’s actually quite welcoming maybe after a few weeks I’ll be sick of it. It makes it hard to work when you’re sat in front of a computer screen.

What’s your favourite summer beverage?
I'm not the biggest beer drinker but I like a nice cider. You’ll see me drinking a beer if there’s nothing else about, but a good cider like a Rekorderlig is nice when it’s summery. If it were a beer, it would have to be a Corona.

I imagine the best thing about having a home studio is having both the fridge and studio within walking distance. How are you finding it?
Home is surprisingly good and I actually like it. Its been a while since I've had a set up in my house and just roll out of bed, walk straight into another room and have my stuff there. Making tunes in my undies. At the moment I can’t find somewhere else that I'm happy with because I’d rather be at home and it’s extremely difficult to find somewhere where it’s easy to get to and has the right sound. My space at home is quite small and I just thought that rather than spending months wandering around London and looking for somewhere that’s the perfect studio. I used to find that you’d go to the studio and have a wicked idea and then once you get there you don’t even remember why you’re there.

Can’t you record it on your phone with voice memos?
No, I'm tone deaf. I've tried and everything just comes out as one note.


When it comes to gadgetry, do you prefer the simpler things?
I don’t even own a TV. The only reason I’d get a television would be to watch films but then my attention span is so shit, I’d rather just watch it on a laptop, which means I wouldn’t need a TV anyway. The most gadgety thing I’ve got outside of music is nothing really. All of my gadgets are music related. The highest gadget I have outside of music is my phone and at one point I got a nose hair trimmer. I’m nearly 31 so I need to start thinking about that stuff. Even then, if it wasn’t for music stuff and people trying to call me, I probably wouldn’t have a mobile phone. I'm not a big fan of – and I'm guilty of it myself – people on the train and people just have their faces buried in their phones. It’s so wrong. If you look up from your phone you notice everyone else on his or her phone.

What’s your favourite iPhone app?
I’ve got Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 on my phone. It’s either that or Sleep Cycle. It’s that app that wakes you up gently and makes you feel good. Over weeks you can chart how well you sleep and it starts to tell you when it’s best to sleep. Sleep is important and I don’t sleep too well so I need to start working it out.

In terms of the next project, in what direction is the next Breakage venture moving?
I've been working a lot more with synths. Now its gone into more of an analogue type feel with the sound. A couple of years ago I really liked those sounds so I went out and bought a couple of synths but now you’re splitting hairs between hardware and the software. A lot of it is still software because I find it easier to work with. You're not rewiring things. Its got a more synthesized feel, but in a good way. It’s warm and clinical. I'm trying to dynamically make the impossible. To be honest, it probably won’t come out that way but its something to work towards. It’ hard to say how much its changed because I've been working on it for so long so to me it might not be that big a step but to other people it could be a step in a different direction.


And how far through the project have you got?
I’ve recorded a lot of things in demo stage. There’s more than enough music so I could have put the album out a year ago. It’s just about making it more than just a couple of tunes stuck together. Where I do a lot of different tempos and play with different moods, it’s now about gluing it together.

Who’s the craziest member out of the Magnetic Man bunch?
I don’t think you can put it on one of them, they're all pretty crazy. They’re hard workers, but that’s a big part of them, they’ve all got really big personalities. It’s like they’re Power Rangers or something. I’ll say it’s a three-way tie, four-way if you’re including Sgt. Pokes.

What do you like getting up to when you’re not making music?
It’s mainly just going out with my brother. Other than that it’s just eating and shopping. I spend a lot of time half watching films and I’ll give anything a good 40 minutes before I turn it off. Even when I know they’re going to be shit. I’ll work and then I’ll watch films at the same time because there’s more going on. I probably watch between 2-4 films a day. I’ll literally just flick through Netflix.

Netflix is a godsend.
Netflix is the devil. It’s not right that I should be able to watch that many films and then repeat it. I still find myself going back to the same films though. Clockwork Orange probably gets watched at least once a month like, religiously. Netflix is really evil, something sinister.


In terms of the album, is there a release date for it just yet?
I don’t want to put out an album if it’s not right. Even if you think you put out the perfect album, people will tear it apart in the public eye. You’ve got to make it as solid as possible and I don’t want to release something and then later think I could have done so much better. With my label owner also being a producer, he’s definitely a lot more understanding. I just want to make sure I'm happy without going absolutely crazy. It’s definitely close and I'm just putting the last bits in place.

Breakage plays alongside the likes of Rudimental and Mistajam in the Speakerbox Arena for this year's We Are FSTVL on May 25. Tickets are available here.

Loadstar - Black & White (Breakage's "And Red All Over" Mix)
Kutz - Shape Shifter
Breakage ft. Drop The Lime - Our Days
Roska - Asbestos
Pote - Glitch
Benga - Icon (Breakage Loves A Trance Synth Mix)
Sub Focus ft. Alex Clare - Endorphins (Dismantle Remix)
Breakage - Telepathy
Breakage - Express
Breakage ft. Jess Mills - Fighting Fire (SL Mix)
Breakage ft. Jess Mills - Fighting Fire (D Bridge's Tokyo Dawn Mix)
House Of Black Lanterns - You, Me, Metropolis

Follow Errol on Twitter @errol_and

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