What happened to breakcore? [Core News Comment]

A couple of years ago breakcore was my favorite genre that I couldn’t stop listening to. Breakcore felt fresh, it was full of energy and was even a tad original. I loved checking out the latest Venetian Snares album, everything from the Death$ucker label and could dance my ass off if breakcore was played out in clubs.

But recently I hardly ever listen to breakcore. When a track comes on my mp3-player I just skip it and the thought of dancing to breakcore sounds stressful.

I don’t think I’m the only one with a lack of interest in breakcore. Lots of producers and labels have turned their focus elsewhere and I hardly ever see the music being played in clubs.

Why have there been such a downturn for the core?
There are a few highly skilled artists who manage to churn out good breakcore tunes, but at the height of the “breakcore era” we saw tons of bedroom artists emerging. This was great and all, but for some reason I got really bored with breakcore at this time. Even the big artists couldn’t get my start nodding. To me it seemed like breakcore had totally stalled and becoming bit of a parody of itself.
At the same time I had fallen deeply in love with dubstep and I find that dubstep has a much broader sound spectrum compared to the narrower spectrum in breakcore. This keep the dubstep sound fresh even after the genre has matured, while breakcore rehashes the same old sound with little variation.
To me breakcore has a bleak future, but it would be cool if it developed into something else..

What do you think about the state of breakcore?
Please leave your musings in the comment field below, and links to potential breakcore that might be interesting 🙂

-Thomas of Core News

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20 thoughts on “What happened to breakcore? [Core News Comment]”

  1. Maybe breakcore need to stay underground for its potential to really evolve. This has been the case with many genres, from electro to garage. You have a small amount of people who supports the scene, even when the hype is gone, and eventually it could become something different, something fresh. Who’d ever believe that 2step garage would evolve to become something like dubstep? I guess if some producers keep on making breakcore-ish music, even if the majority of the listeners have moved on, it will keep on evolving. But hey, if it’s impossible to maintain a scene, if promoters won’t book you, if people don’t give a shit, it will be a difficult task to keep it alive. The question is, is breakcore worth keeping alive? Also, dividing music into these genres is not my fave thing to do; I’ll bet you most people who produce electronic music make anything from ambient to more upbeat stuff, and focusing on dubstep is just a way to tilt their attention. Well, I don’t know. I’d like to see a clubnight where they played dnb, house, techno, dubstep and breakcore, not just minimal techno or jungle anno 1994. After all, it’s all just music!

  2. My feeling is that a lot of it has to do with a lack of what makes music emotionally moving: dynamics, contrast, tension & release, harmonic progression, etc. Breakcore is very exciting at first, due to its velocity and energy; but, because it tends to be FULL ON MAXIMUM ALL THE TIME, it lacks the these essential musical elements. IMHO.

  3. I think the whole breakcore vs dubstep is somewhat played out. I think it now has been proven that the genres are perfectly capable of coexisting. Comparing the two is odd at best, there aren’t even many parallels between the genres. I’m starting to wonder why, when, where and how the whole breakcore to dubstep exodus started.

    Many breakcore lovers can’t stand dubstep (boring is the most heard complaint), and there are probably many more dubstep heads that absolutely hate breakcore.

    “To me it seemed like breakcore had totally stalled and becoming bit of a parody of itself.”

    The weird thing is, dubstep is also suffering from exactly the same thing. Lots of bedroom producers producing simple formulaic genre pieces. It might even be worse for dubstep, as the genre is much easier to define.

    As William says, breakcore tends to be FULL ON MAXIMUM, dubstep tends to be FULL ON CHILL OUT. Both of which can become off putting after a while.

    The great thing about breakcore is that it’s somewhat of a catch all for all harsh electronic music that doesn’t fit any other predefined genre. It provides a much broader spectrum then the gabber kicks + amen cliche.

    Dubstep is a much tighter defined genre, and to me seems less open for significant change. Anything genre defying and it will fall out of the Dubstep scope… maybe into the field of breakcore…

  4. i for myself have a range of artists i really like (for example dj hidden, cardopusher, shitmat, aaron spectre…) and i still love their new releases or mixes.
    breakcore isn’t the music i listen to the whole day long, but i like it as a break…

  5. The thing I like about dubstep at the moment is its ability to fuse many different genres. You have some tracks which are hard and industrial, others are more minimal, almost ambient, and then there’s all the techno influenced stuff. I could go on, dubstep has elements of anything from ragga and dub to German minimal techno. I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s still in its early stage of development, we have seen similar stuff with almost every new kind of electronic music. I guess it’s already happening, but soon you will get all these subgenres of dubstep competing and excluding each other. I can’t really see that happening to breakcore. Is is just me, or are the people into breakcore more open minded?

  6. muffin squirrels

    i loves me breakcore because it has kittens with uzis and ninja squirrels.. dubstep however has dissappointed me.. it has become flooded with soo many genres that i cant find a form to appreciate.. so many electro and hiphop djs are also jumping on the bandwagon, flooding the underground venues with teeny hipsters eager to show their latest fashion.. maybe its good for business and ass chasing.. but the music gets lost in all the hype.. my true love is jungle and idm.. and breakcore was sort of the perfect mix between both.. i mean it started getting sour in recent years and dissappeared from the radar.. but the same has happened to idm and jungle-ragga.. mixes are very rare to find.. i mean even ‘core’ news whose banner thrives on ‘satan loves breakcore’, has sold out to the dubstep craze.. shame on you Thomas !

  7. i really dislike genres but breakcore for me is the widest and more experimental ‘genre’ out there and if its going to evolve or keep on i really dont care. i believe producers should try to look back to their work and make something different the next time. then music will evolve therefore all the genres will keep on changing. sometimes people just dont want to change, dont want to make something fresh because listeners wont get it and that actually hold back creative production. i try to keep an open mind and listen to all sorts of electronic music and i ve been trying to put them all together to see if something comes out of it…so far….no nothing has……..but as long as i do it because i like to do it instead of to show off, i will keep on doing it….i am really into idm now and experimental noise stuff also electroaccustic music which isa mixture of electronic and unplugged instruments…..so breakcore is cool as long as producers enjoy doing it. it seems most of them actually got bored or somthing…..the technology will also make the music moves forward…..i like some dubstep, but it can get really repetitive sometimes as most of the tunes out there…..so its a tricky question and the future will answer it

  8. @jaap “The weird thing is, dubstep is also suffering from exactly the same thing. Lots of bedroom producers producing simple formulaic genre pieces. It might even be worse for dubstep, as the genre is much easier to define.”

    My thoughts exactly. Lot of the same type of dubstep out there right now. Some stuff is outstanding and edgy though but a lot of it is simply a wobbly bassline with a slow beat and some cool movie sample on it.

  9. Thanks for all the awesome comments 🙂

    @jaap: The article wasn’t really meant as a breakcore vs dubstep discussion as I think they both have qualities.

    @Dort: Yeah that is what I like about dubstep right now too. All the different genres blended into dubstep.

    @William: Maybe I’m just getting too old for the crazy breakcore sounds and started to enjoy more mellow sounds.

    @Muffin: Lol, yeah the blog really needs an overhaul. My music taste has changed quite a bit since I started it in April 2007.
    I hope there will be an IDM revival soon!

    @tale twist: Big up yourself for making an effort in creating something new. Send me links if you work something out.

    @david: Share some link-love to new mixes. Would love to hear fresh Cardopusher, thought he was producing dubstep now 😉

    @n3wjack: The wobbly sound can get very repetitive, but I think there are many other great dubstep sounds out there, especially the more mellow sounds, imho.

  10. “To me it seemed like breakcore had totally stalled and becoming bit of a parody of itself.”
    in most cases, yes, it exactly parody of itself, fallen into its own trap: too many producers considering it ONLY as the parody of other genres, just stick to making mash-ups of pop/dance tunes or finally, to use random amens and kicks generated by pcs. In this way, their music ends up as just very simple shit, with no sense, no preceding projects etc.
    BUT: some headz (like eg. Vorpal /8FM / TechDiff) made/ still make just an utterly awesome stuff and any other genre doesn’t have comparable genious producers.
    I hope they won’t all burn out and there will always remain some rare perles to discover…

    Check my mate’s Pioter stuff :



    – the proof that breakcore is not THAT dead yet 😉

  11. Ya Heard? I still love breakcore and my Jungle,D&B,Industrial,Trance,Electro..but I too have been drawn to other s as well

  12. maybe it´s allways an up and down thing. anyway which kind of style you prefer.
    if i have the chance to go to an breakcore party, i feel that a lot of the enthusiasm get lost. but it´s not realy the music. we lost the adventures of the new. but it´s still new for some. so it´s dead and alive at the same moment. but i´m still interisted an new breakcore tracks but get totaly bored of drum´n´bass. but in the end i hope all that fckn boundaries broke down.
    i did a rough mix 2weeks ago and i ask myself the question you asked and we answered. this is the result


    and i have a proof how poor dubstep can be


    thanks for your attention.

    so i use the words dubstep/breakcore/grime/idm/ghettotech/punk/rock´n`roll/soul

    but i love more the music of some of the artist which are connected with these words.

    sorry for my bad english

  13. Funny, I had this exact sentiment running through my mind the other day. I came across a load of mixes I’d downloaded a few years ago, and they were 70/30 breakcore… I have zero interest in listening to them now.
    It’s been a steady diet of Dubstep since, but even that feels like waning soon, with a lot of very formulaic stuff emerging.

    It seems everything for me revolves around techno in some form, with small flirtations away every so often – but with a distant 4/4 beat calling my name for dinner… or something 😉

  14. I think breakcore has plateaued quite a bit, but there’s still plenty of great stuff coming out and newer artists who will assuredly but out lots more in the future- Datach’i, Binray, Techdiff, Xanopticon, Acrnym, Duran Duran Duran, Puzzleweasel, Dev/Null, AZ-Rotator. Nevermind the heavy hitters like Enduser and Bong-Ra.

    While VSnares was my favorite for many years, he’s obviously lost his edge as every release seems to get mellower and mellower and I expect him to leave the whole breakcore scene altogether and go acid techno. Seriously.

    It’s the artists that feel some need to include a healthy dose of humor that are making the genre a self-parody- Mochipet, Otto von Schirach, Sickboy, Shitmat…

    Is anybody from the entity.be crew still active- Atomhead, UndaCova, Duncan Avoid, Kaebin Yield, Subskan?

    I don’t mean to perpetuate the whole breakcore vs dubstep thing, but dubstep is totally lame and it’s never gonna catch on anywhere other than the UK. And it’s too narrow of a sound with too many conventions to last very long. Any genre defined by a specific rhythm is doomed to evolve into something else really fast or burn out really fast. Remember garage? Remember hyphy? Remember grime? Remember minimal techno? Remember electroclash? All these musics were as hot as dubstep is right now and were hot for a couple years and I expect dubstep to take the same track.

  15. i know that this reply might be too late but i just saw the post and i FREAKING LOVE BREAKCORE i think that this genre is a really perfect genre that does not fit all people ,i think that this genre is one of the few that were actually about the music and stayed about the music the thing i love most about this is how wide it is i mean we all know the BIG names as in aaron spectre ,bong ra ,venetian snares,cardopusher and and and … but u can still find the freakiest djs around just download a couple of albums lot are trully just shit but i came across a lot of artists that are fucking insane as in Wan bushi (crazy), Chop chop, Coreboy , a lot of them from belgium where i think that trully is the home for Breakcore i dont think that this scene will die anytime soon i mean there are fans for breakcore and there are fans for dub step ,i became a fan of breakcore and i dont think that i am the only one that feels this way and i think that there is still a long way to go 🙂 cheers to all

  16. Breakcore I still think is way ahead of it’s time and is not for people that aren’t really into music. I find the crowd that embrace this style of music are usually either intellectual or eccentric or both. I use the word style to describe Breakcore rather than a genre because Breakcore was never intended to be a genre, it has always been a sort of anti-genre, blurring and uniting the boundaries between genres and creating something entirely unrelated. The thing is Breakcore has now influenced all other types of modern dance music, heavier style drum and bass for example has taken a lot of drum loops and sounds from breakcore but made it more sequenced. A lot of these new genres that are coming out are really just types of breakcore, such as jungletek.

    Although this is already a late reply to this post, Breakcore is only really getting started, and it will never die. This is because it’s not a genre, genre die as people get sick of the same sounds and beats. Dullstep has a very short shelf life and is a bit of a fad. Yeah we all like bass and actually half time is can sound great in a breakdown of a tune, but a whole night of it and I want to smash my own head in with a brick. All the best bits have already been incorporated into breakcore. This is really what breakcore is that is, the best of every genre from jungle to classical – techno – hardcore – drum and bass – metal – punk -funk – even cheese, you name that box has been ticked.

    The thing is music become rubbish when artists make music to fit into a genre, it completely takes away the creative element out of music. You might as well be righting pop music, following the well defined routes of the what people like.

    Unfortunately It is the avant garde nature of the breakcore that make it as good as it is, has attracted a lot of terrible artists into making shit music that no one that has any taste in music could possibly enjoy and calling it breakcore. Lots of smaller labels that release literally anything they can. Its no wonder that most people have the wrong impression of breakcore. I have to do a lot of sifting through the rubbish to find some really great artist and tunes. To be honest its good that it’s not as popular as it used to be because it removes all people that are going along with it for the hype and leaves room for the artists that are into it because they love it and there is no compromise.

    Breakcore or what ever you want to call it comes in waves. And Holy Shit there is a storm a brewing!

  17. Sorry I’m so late on this discussion, lets begin shall we? First off I’m very biased, I love breakcore and strongly dislike dubstep. I won’t say hate but it’s close. Every once in a while I hear a dubstep song that is fucking sick. But this about break core.
    Breakcore’s main problem is that it’s just way to aggressive, erratic, and fast to gain any sort of mainstream(in the world of techno) following. This means it won’t get a lot of play at multigenre clubs and parties which is crucial for a any style to thrive and grow. That being said there are still a lot of great artists putting out the sound, you just have to search for it.
    I think the sound will continue to thrive on the web, but sadly I don’t foresee any massive uprising in the physical world like you see in the dubstep scene.

  18. i couldnt dissagree with this enough… i just spoke to a “heavy hitter” not to reacently and he spoke of old heads being like oh this used to be cool etc etc etc. Fusion of genres and b’cores flexabilty allows for new shit to come up. I just met a bunch of dope people who all are joined in for the cause from NJ to NY to PA from Pitts to philly. Shits legit, i love the energy and i love the ppl down for the cause of “throwing our own shows because everything else is generic” Bmore is holding shit down to despite flail going to western canada. this shit will forever be dear to me and people are impressing me every time i go to an event.

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