If we're friends, then sooner or later you have the pleasure of finding out about my unreasonable and undying love for breakcore. This usually leads to some questions:
I'm unsure if it should be considered the jazz, the dadaism, or the tourette syndrome of electronic music. As far as genres go, it's immature, hyperactive, often weird, ugly, grating, much too fast, and absolutely one of my favourite things ever.
It's hard to explain why anyone keeps coming back to a certain art form, or why some specific patterns really trigger your brain's pleasure centers or let you relax and zen out.
Now that you have been appropriately warned, here is a top selection of tracks that give me pure joy. Consider this my version of a mixtape:
Here's one piece that isn't even a full song, but encompasses everything that makes breakcore/raggacore wonderful:
You can even get the history of the amen break explained to you while listening to breakcore:
Insomniac Magazine: How to Talk to Your Kids About Breakcore
Good new and old tracks often pop up on the breakcore subreddit. But don't go and ruin it, you and 5 friends could probably outvote the entire community.
I tried to keep the initial list balanced, but it's hard to refrain from recommending 60% of all of Venetian Snares and 80% of all that Ruby My Dear has ever created. Here are some of the most legendary full albums:
You should also find the album "Rossz Csillag Alatt Született" by Venetian Snares. It contains what's arguably the Stairway to Heaven of breakcore:
And some random bonus songs. Who knows if all of these count as breakcore, half the point of the genre is to be experimental after all. Categorize these as drum & bass, glitch, noise, who cares. Their main merit is to be creative and interesting as hell.
I could keep going. In fact, I will probably update this over time.
Breakcore drum patterns should be pretty impossible to do with acoustic instruments, but that doesn't keep some brave drummers from trying. Here are some of the more impressive attempts:
I'm glad you asked! I found two decent ones:
Despite being such a weird niche genre, there is still an absurd amount of musicians to check out. Don't give me grief for not including Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Enduser, Bong Ra, Sabrepulse, Dev/Null, Xanopticon, Goreshit, Nasenbluten, Hecate, Datach'i, cpxn, Stazma the Junglechrist, DJ Donna Summer, The Teknoist, Spongebob Squarewave, Rotator, Kettel, or anyone else you're super into.
Nerves of Time is the love letter to the chaos of your overloaded mind. Like all the contradictions held in your ape-evolved psyche, opposites are made to coexist. It is both melancholic and funny, melodic calm is meshed with the frenetic energy of the synthesizer's roar, overloading your senses while a drum is manipulated with surgical precision to deliver the infinitely nested fractal of the breakbeat.
A moment of harmony cools off your overheating neurons, before otherworldly noises hit you again with the momentum of a speeding freight train. You are a child playing at the beach in the sun, when a wave washes you away with the force of an ocean, sweeping you into a weightless trance and submerging you fully within its bottomless medium.
The prerequisite for subverting all conventions of tone and rhythm is a firm grasp of their rules in the first place. The craftsmen of this musical rebirth affectionately cite a hundred genres, yet imitate none of them. The familiar parts build expectations in your pavlovian brain that are then mercilessly subverted. At any moment, the main theme might disintegrate into a hectic flurry of sounds, with skillfully constructed cycles of tension-release throwing you around like a cat playing with its prey.
Several layers below, the ominous hum of drones and basslines provides an constant foundation of energy. Like cosmic background radiation it is the backdrop against which you witness stars collapsing in on themselves, releasing all their energy in one last blaze of glory. Enjoy the wild ride before the inevitable heat death of your universe.