DC Breaks interview
Damian Bennett: Tell me about some noteworthy gigs, any bad and good:
DC: recently played a gig where the decks were on a really low table on stage and I’m 6’4″ so I had to sit down to DJ which felt kinda weird but at that level I could still get high fives off the heads in the front row so it wasn’t too bad!
DB: Ha haaaaaa!!!
… also played a really good gig in Estonia last month; we had 1,500 people down which I didn’t expect from such a small country, everyone was bang up for it, the system was good, visuals & lights were great and it’s true what they say about Estonian women…
DB: Ah, ok *books flight*
… favourite ever though would be Glastonbury last year. It was the opening night in the Dance Village, in the only venue open, the ‘Pussy Parlour’ and it was ‘one in one out’ from about 7pm. People were so desperate not to leave that they were pissing in cups and throwing them out the windows so they didn’t have to leave, the atmosphere was insane!
DB: Speaking separately, what got you guys into D&B?
Dan: Early cuts like Logical Progression, ‘Circles’ on Lucky Spin, early Digital. Some of my mates were really into it, they had a pair of belt drives and it was a new and exciting thing for me to get into. I was hooked.
Chris and I met at Edinburgh Uni and were always playing gigs in the city together. From there we got into production together and formed DC Breaks.
DB: Awesome. Chris?
Chris: When I was 15 a friend of my sister let me borrow a Logical Progression CD, and around the same time I also got given a Kool FM tape at school. I didn’t really get it at first but wanted to hear more. One of my mates got some decks, started buying jungle and D&B on vinyl so I started learning to mix. Roni Size’s ‘Brown Paper Bag’ was the first tune I bought on vinyl back in 1997.
DB: That tune sounds so great now, same as it did then. So you’ve worked with Andy, with Viper Recordings, what did you want to bring to the party in terms of sound and attitude?
Chris: We started working with Andy & with Frequency back in 2005, then Viper in 2008. We found that we had a sound which brought the techy side and the musical sides of D&B together with a dancefloor beat.
Dan: It suited Viper perfectly, and with Frequency we could release a darker, more punchy sound… with the exception of ‘Pickett Line’ ha ha.
DB: I think of big places when I hear your sound. But what about smaller, more intimate clubs, is that you?
Dan: Actually we love to play the more intimate clubs, which can be quite common when touring Europe in smaller cities.
Sometimes the vibe just connects better when the crowd are right in front of you, and you can have some banter.
DB Ha ha! Ace, can see it.
Chris: The huge events, whilst epic on scale, can feel a little more detached as you’re so far away from the punters! I also prefer the smaller more intimate gigs…
Though playing to several thousand people is still pretty awesome!
DB: So if someone’s just starting out in D&B what sort of tips would you give them?
Dan: You have to put the hours in. Artists all want to work really hard now, get tracks of all varieties and styles done… do albums and do EPs even though sales have taken a hit.
Production has always been key in D&B so watch a few tutorials online for example and try to get a feel for your own sound – particularly drums – as often we feel this is where artists can make their mark.
Chris: Try to be original! Far too many people hear a track and just copy it. The people who’ve been successful in D&B in recent years are the ones who have experimented and come up with something new.
DB: Is your collection just digital? Do you DJ vinyl?
Dan: We were DJing vinyl up until a year ago. We still pull it out when we do six deck sets
DB: wtf? Six??
Dan: … but CDs are easier and actually more fun as there is more we can do with them in terms of tricks, FX and quick mixing.
Chris: We always DJ with (minimum) FOUR CDJs to ensure maximum hecticness! Sadly the state of 1200s in clubs these days is often so bad that playing off vinyl is suicidal… so you almost have to play CDs to ensure no skipping needles, etc.
DB: I know of/saw DJs who brought their own cartridges to shows but never thought of that. So name some of your contemporaries you really rate.
Dan: Brookes Bros, Prototypes.
Chris: Culture Shock, Wilkinson.
DB: And what tunes of yours are in the box as Massive Top Secret Destroyers that will work anywhere?
Dan: Anything Sub Focus.
Chris: High Contrast, ‘If We Ever’ always goes down a treat
DB: Great tune, thanks.
- DC Breaks ‘The More I Want’ ep