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Eclectic: Breakage

Breakage, aka James Boyle, has been something of a pillar in London’s electronic music scene for some time now. He released his debut LP, ‘This Too Shall Pass,’ back in 2006, and then launched himself to a worldwide audience with a highly-acclaimed follow up, ‘Foundation,’ on Digital Soundboy. He has gone on to record a FabricLive mix as part of said label, and to release a lengthy string of records on labels such as Naked Lunch, Planet Mu, Critical Recordings and of course, DSB.

Collaborations with artists as diverse as Burial, Newham Generals, Jess Mills, Claire McGuire, Roots Manuva, David Rodigan and Jubei confirm the universal appeal of Breakage‘s style – something discussed below. Also read on for early details of his next album, thoughts on his musical progression, and catch him DJing at Regulate this Friday at Vauxhall’s COvert.

Your sound has varied over the years between jungle, garage, grime and dubstep, and in ‘Fighting Fire’ and your Claire McGuire remix has varied even more. What are you most enjoying making at the moment?
At the moment probably more 4×4 stuff, but it changes like the weather!

And what are you enjoying listening to in your spare time?
I dont’ actually listen to music much, but when I do it’s mostly more rock and ‘alternative’.

Do you think there are any specific reasons for the path your music has followed?
Not really, apart from I just make what I like at the time and mix it up with what I was doing before – like a big eclectic mess I suppose.

Have you ever been tempted to start another alias to cater for the wide range of music you make? Is there a specific reason you’ve decided not to?
It’s something I did think about recently, the idea of totally reinventing yourself is kind of cool and I could choose a cooler more non descriptive name. But, I’ve been doing tracks as Breakage for 10+ years now, just because over that time the style and tempo has changed, it doesn’t mean I have to hit the restart button.

What can you tell us about the album you have forthcoming? Will there be any collaborations?
It’ll have around 10-14 tracks roughly, be about an hour long, have vocals, drums, bass, instrumentals and made predominantly on a computer.

Does the album name have any relevance to the music?
There’s only a working title at the moment which may or may not be the actual title, so it’s hard to say.

Is the recent Digital Soundboy Fabriclive mix fairly representative of what you’ve been playing in sets of late?
Yes and no, obviously there was 3 different people who compiled the cd and although we play quite similar, I like to think we all play quite different too.

How much do your sets vary depending on who else is on the line up? What can we expect to hear at Regulate this Friday?
My sets vary more on my mood than anything, but I might play or not play the odd tune if the lineup and/or crowd doesn’t suit it. As for Friday, I have no idea… I never do up until its over, I’m a firm believer in winging it and feeling it out rather than having a pre constructed set.

Breakage plays at Regulate this Friday, October 26, w/ Mele, Slimzee, DJ Wonder, South London Ordnance, Mista Men, Pedro123 and more. RSVP here.

Richard Akingbehin