The New School of Broken Beat
We’ve been waiting for a long time to say it but let’s finally say it out loud: Broken Beat is back. The sound born in West London in the mid-90’s was one of the most inspiring and fresh approach to the fusion between Soul, Electronic and azzazz music until it completely fell off the map in the mid-2000’s.
It’s always been sort a mystery why the Bruk scene died off, but you can point to 2007 as the year everything changed. Goya, the main distributor of the genre closed as well as Straight No Chaser the biggest supporting print magazine as well as the famed Co-Op night at Plastic People in London.
It has been bubbling back to the surface in the past few years with the help of labels like 2000Black (who never really stopped) as well as certain releases from 22a Music, Eglo Records, Tokyo Dawn and Sound Signature who have been bringing back some enthusiasm back to the scene. Further proof of the return; the mighty Boiler Room even put together a special Co-Op session hosted by IG Culture.
When we think about Broken Beat we are instantly brought back to the glorious productions from IG Culture, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Bugz in the Attic, Dego, Phil Asher, Jazzanova, Kaidi, Domu, Moonstarr and others. Most of who are actually still making great music and playing a crucial role in the revival.
What we wanted to do here is point out some producers who are part of the second wave of BRUK. What is very interesting is that, like in the beginning of the scene, the sound has gone back to its roots which is in London where you will find most of the producers we listed are from.
Please Note: Most of the names mentioned aren’t 100% Broken Beat producers, but they use it in some of their projects and are helping bring the sound back! Some in the list are newcomers and others are veterans but all of them came after the glory days. Here is to #bruk2.0!
We were sold as soon as we heard this brilliant remix of Omar’s classic “Dancing” by the young London producer. This is definitely a new school Bruk anthem. Big things on the horizon for K15 for his solo projects as well as his upcoming EP collaboration with Henry Wu (aka Wu15) on Eglo Records.
> K15 Soundcloud
2015 was without a doubt the year of the WU. Everything the man touched was absolute fire. From his remixes, solo releases and collaboration projects (Yuseef Kamaal and Wu15). He doesn’t go full-bruk that often but the influence heard in his other productions ranging from House, Beats to Jazz.
> Henru Wu Soundcloud
Jeen Bassa, Mo Kolours, Reginald Omas Mamode IV
The three Deenmamode brothers from London make music on their own yet all have a very connected sound which you might call “future rare groove”. Yes, we all hate those future/post sub-genre names but honestly I wouldn’t know what else to call it. Organic, Loose, Experimental Soulful music. Although they don’t make tracks you would precisely file under Broken Beat, you can hear it in some of their work like Mo Kolours’ “Foundation” which is on the slow-bruk tip.
> Mo Kolours | Reginald Omas Mamode IV | Jeen Bassa
The debut album from the London’s producer known as EVM128 is very interesting and features a bunch of influences, some tracks sounding like vintage Jazzanova others like Mount Kimbie. It’s slightly more on the jazzy and soulful side which is great because there was always a healthy balance in the scene between the rough & raw side and the more musical and jazzy side.
> EVM128 Soundcloud
The NY producer is definitely not a newcomer, we’ve all been loving his music since the late 2000’s. However he is a bit of an oddity on this list, mostly because he is the only North American on it. Like in the Bruk 1.0 era it was mostly a London thing (along with Germany and Japan) but you had exceptions like our homie Moonstarr (from Toronto). Back to Falty DL, he has been releasing some tracks here and there that are definitely 100% Broken Beat vibes.
> Falty DL Soundcloud
Lay-Far – Going Home
The young producer from Moscow has been extremely prolific with around 20 EP’s since breaking on the scene in 2012. He mostly leans on the House side of things but occasionally puts out tracks with a definite Broken vibe.
> Lay-Far Souncloud
This producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist from the UK started releasing music when Broken Beat died down in 2007 but has since become well known recently for his Brazilian and Boogie Remixes but he does go Bruk every now and then. When he does, it’s on the more afro/latin and soulful tip.
> Aroop Roy Soundcloud
And while we’re on the Broken Beat subject, check out this nice selection of “Forgotten Treasures” we put together a little while back. Some deep cuts in there!