top of page

Photography courtesy of the author. 

IMG_3517.JPG

27 March 2024

Sounds Rewired

DOMINIC DAVIES

Embarking on an electrifying journey, the music-based channel Breakthewire, have, over the last three years, made it their mission to unleash the untamed talent pulsating through the ever-evolving beat-scape of the underground dance scene. Unphased by the treacherous realities of the industry and refusing to be restrained by its excessive reliance on close-knit contacts and connections, Breakthewire have employed little more than their love of the underground sound to establish a growing community of followers, myself included, who now look to the wire for a daily dose of sonic indulgence.

Determined to expand their footprint, they have traversed the country’s hottest venues and festivals to spotlight the artists responsible for delivering some of the freshest sounds on the scene. With mic in hand and camera rolling, the crew have embraced the ultimate question: ‘What’s the must have track on every DJ’s USB?’ answers to which only serve to fuel the blazing catalogue of tracks that Breakthewire relentlessly plugs.

However, their latest venture, one which cements them firmly within the scene, takes a step away from the quick-fire questions and into the world of events. February saw the crew embark on a new chapter as they laid host to their debut night at Venue MOT in South Bermondsey. Alongside paradime studio, a newly London based art and music collective, dedicated to the promotion of growing creative talent; the night boasted an array of selectors bringing unpredictable underground sounds ensuring that this was to be a maiden voyage like no other. I had the privilege of immersing myself in this latest milestone of the Breakthewire journey, plunging headfirst into the blend of love, passion and sweat on the dancefloor. 

DJ Nora

Fumbling desperately with my lighter and clinging onto the remnants of a drenched and deteriorating cigarette, I faced the entrance to a rather run-down and lifeless industrial estate, where, in all honesty, I began to question my choice of Saturday night activities. Cautious, yet undeniably intrigued, I ventured in, seeking enticing sounds (and a working lighter).

 

A distant but familiar buzz seemed to cut through the sharp clangs of rain on metal roofs, and as indistinct shapes in the darkness morphed into figures, I was soon greeted with the restless but comforting atmosphere of queuing partygoers. Braving the elements, the snaking crowd's anticipation grew with every step, and along with it, a mutual respect between fans, who seemed to understand the importance of their collective role in the Breakthewire journey.

 

The rumble of a bassline, escaping from an unassuming side door permeated the rain filled sky, and as I entered through a dingy corridor, I was soon met with its source. Abrasive drums and weaving synths seemed to ricochet off the bare brick walls, cocooning the crowd in an impenetrable wall of sound, reinforced only by the relentless stream of first-rate selections from Manchester based DJ, Nora. Despite being new to the scene, Nora’s ability to supply unpredictable and experimental tracks is unquestioned as she led the crowd through a carefully constructed set that seamlessly bridged BPM and delivered a raw percussion heavy sound, enhanced only by a fitting selection of grimey vocal samples.

Her expedition of sound set the stage for the night ahead, and soon it was the turn of Bristol based artist DJ Cosworth to take the helm. Cosworth, under his label, Hardline sounds, has moulded an expansive style that incorporates a contemporary take on the early speed garage sound, and his set proved no different. Sharp builds alongside a deep cutting baseline and soulful synths fuelled this jumpy retro sound, which, when paired with the rough and raw cut feel of the venue, transported you back to 96, evoking a true underground essence that seemed to intensify with every blend.

After surviving the chaotic but always entertaining ordeal of a packed-out smoking area, I immersed myself once again into the enchanting beat-scape, delivered by the evening’s next sorcerer of sound, Aloka. An adaptive and innovative breakbeat style has brought Welsh based wonder Aloka truly deserved recognition, having recently earned a spot on this year’s Gottwood lineup. Homing in on an aggressive yet hypnotic sound, Aloka left nothing to the imagination, bringing his punchy break techniques to the floor that left the crowd battered and bruised but begging for more. 

The sheer calibre of talent on show resembled anything but a debut event, but Breakthrewire weren’t done there. Waiting until the early hours to pounce, multi genre master Minor Science was unleashed as the final act of the night. The Berlin based DJ and producer let his imaginative and complex style shine through, introducing detailed rhythms that evolved constantly through unpredictable cuts and glitches. The essence of Minor Science’s work came not from his ability to build an atmosphere but from his skill in manipulating one, refusing to let the crowd grow comfortable as he laid down a set that would lure you in with one track and shock you with another. 

These baffling selections seemed to do more than just entertain though, they were, in their own way redefining the feelings that sound evokes. In my mind, it is this power to redefine that forms the essence of the Breakthewire mission. While it may be a broad statement, I think this crew have figured out a way to instil their true passion; (something that seems to allude so many despite the fact the answer is so incredibly straight forward) There’s no desire for overcomplicated extravagance and little care for high profile bookings or decked out venues. Instead, their DIY no-frills approach avoids any distraction from the most important aspect, the music, something often neglected by promoters, who sacrifice quality for consistency as they strive to gain traction in the industry. 

IMG_3519.JPG

What sets Breakthewire apart is their refusal to be intimidated by the scale and cutthroat nature of the music industry. Refusing to be distracted, they have managed to capture the very soul of underground sounds, through sheer simplicity. With this behind them, the crew have marched confidently into the perilous labyrinth of the industry, carving their own path as they cut through its entangled and knotted exclusivity, one wire at a time.

bottom of page