Bass worrier’s new single mixes his past and his future with mixed results
Back in the heady days when dubstep was just a few guys making moody bass heavy tracks, Breakage stood alone. In 2006 he released This too Shall Pass, a great debut album, and arguably one of best dubstep albums, second only to Digital Mystikz’s Return II Space.
In 2010 he released its follow up Foundation. The sound was slightly different, more drum and bass, but still keeping his signature sound (woozy synths, massive bass, sparse hi hats and big beats). While it was a strong album, it felt like a step back compared to his debut. Tracks Hard (featuring David Rodigan and Newham Generals), Run ‘Em Out (featuring Roots Manuva) are Vial (Featuring Burial) are classics, the rest felt flat.
Four years later he is back with new single Treading Water. Sadly this is an apt title. The track sounds like a bootleg of Skream’s remix of La Roux’s In for the Kill, with vocals from DJ Rap circa 1999 or Sneaker Pimps in their Becoming X period. Basically we’ve heard it all before, and slightly better. This is a shame as for years I was championing Breakage, and loved his debut. The VIP version does redeem itself, but not enough to save this track. I really wanted to like this track, but the more I listen to it, the more the flaws are on display. I’m sure in certain camps people are loving this, but for me it does less than nothing. I hope that Breakage stops treading water and swims to safety before he releases more of this substandard material.