On Saturday June 21st Genesis Nights hit Fire in London to celebrate their 3rd Birthday with one of their biggest line up ever which includes Break, Loxy, Skeptical, Doc Scott, Xtrah, Octane & more.
Trackitdown & Genesis caught up with Symmetry label boss and bass connoisseur Break to find out what goes on inside his studio and what the latest is from the Symmetry camp.
Thanks very much for taking the time out to speak to us! Can you tell the readers where you are in the world today and what you’ve been up to over the last 7 days?
I've been in Bristol for the last week, mainly in the studio doing a Symmetry podcast mix, checking new test presses and finishing off a new Dub tune with Die feat. Fats and Bugsy on vocals.
You’re headlining Genesis Nights 3rd Birthday next month at Fire in London. Are you excited?
Yea for sure London's my home city so always look forward to playing there, and have heard wicked things about the night so the 3rd birthday rinseout should be sick.
You’re quite a prolific producer in terms of your output. How do you strike the right balance between consistency and quality?
I have a lot of tunes here that don't make the cut, people would still play them and buy them, but if it sounds a bit samey or not exciting I shelve them for a while. Generally I don't finish a tune unless I'm really feeling it, so it keeps the quality level high, hopefully.
The bass lines on your tracks are what make them standout and are almost a signature trademark of your work. How do you attain that sound? What plugins do you use? Do you use live bass at all?
I do use live bass on some intro's such as Don't Look Down or Love so True Vip, Tbh the plugins change on every tune so sadly there isn't one in particular that gives that sound. It's more about how the drums sit with the bass, and the tone of the bass. I resample my basses often and use the ESX24 sampler in Logic in the way we would back in the day on an EMU.Tape emulation always helps to thicken out bass and warm up the track , that usually helps too.
With your studio setup is there a lot going on or is it a case of keeping it simple to get the best results?
A bit of both in a way, I've invested more in my mic and preamp setups, to get higher quality vocals and other instruments tracked in. But a lot of the work is done in the computer these days, which is a bit of a shame, but can be really convenient when working on many projects simultaneously. A lot of the new plugins from UAD, Waves and Softube etc. are so good that I can get the outboard sound I want in the box, which is great and so can anyone else with a computer now.
If you could let go of one production secret or a piece of advice for other producers out there, what would it be?
I usually forget to do it, but if you start your tune with all the faders turned down -10db and then crank up your speakers instead this always helps to have more headroom to get fat kicks and basses. It does wonders too halfway through making a track if the mix is sounding mushy and squashed.
You’ve been quite the keen collaborator and have worked with various artists across Drum & Bass. What’s the vibe like when working on a track with others as opposed to crafting your own material?
They're booth wicked in different ways. On your own you can roll out no questions asked and end up with your own creation. But with other people more ideas are bouncing around, and often more attention to detail is noticed with two or more people listening. Vibing with other people in the studio is always fun as It can be a bit dry sitting on your own in a room for days, but sometimes you need that to get deep in the zone. Half a dozen of one, six of the other ideally.
Symmetry Recordings has been going strong for a while now. You released The Other Side compilation last year, which had the likes of Ulterior Motive and Octane & DLR on it. What’s forthcoming on the label? Any plans for a new solo album?
I'm focusing on other artists more this year, and have been keeping up the colab tracks, so we have loads of great stuff coming up. Xtrah is doing an Ep, Feat Drs and myself on one track. We've got tracks from Detail, NC17 & KC, DLR, Mikal, Need for Mirrors, a remix from Calibre, and a few more hot ones undercover right now! All the stuff has been tried and tested carefully in the clubs, so for me these were my favourite tracks I'd heard from the producers over a few months, its great to get tunes on the label that I'd play out every set or love listening to in the car or at home.
What do you do when not producing and DJing?
Eat and Sleep mostly :)
We’re nearly half way through the year. What does the summer and latter half of 2013 have in store for Break?
We've got a Symmetry boat party at Outlook in the summer which should be amazing. I'm releasing some other music on Symmetry as Break, some dub and housey stuff. I'm also in a band called “Degrees of Freedom” with Kyo on vocals. We have a big reggae summer tune “Children of the Sun” which is just getting slipped out to the main reggae headz at the moment. We've got an album coming up which has been half of my studio time for the last 8 years so there's a lot of new stuff ready to drop this year.
A big thank you to Break for taking the time out to speak with us to book you place on the dance floor at Genesis 3rd Birthday click on the link below:
To keep up with the latest from Symmetry Recordings click here!