Breakbeat Style Overview
Breakbeat Music Description
Breakbeat is a primarily UK-based style that existed alongside and quickly became infused into hardcore rave/techno music, in turn leading to faster, more complex jungle and hardcore music. Breakbeat is characterized by a prominent, syncopated 4/4 rhythm constructed from breakbeats—i.e., sampled drum breakdowns from rock, jazz, funk, and hip-hop music. Unlike jungle, breakbeat has very little variation or rearrangement of the drum patterns, and it is usually slower/mid-tempo, roughly 100 to 125 BPM, speeding up as the style evolved into jungle. The "Golden Age" of breakbeat was the early 1990s.
Some Discogs users apply the Breakbeat tag to any release that utilizes breakbeat samples, but such usage is contentious, especially for releases outside the 1988–1993 timeframe; the tag was originally intended to refer specifically to the pre-jungle/pre-hardcore music that was actually called breakbeat, or as a way to differentiate breakbeat-based techno from non-breakbeat-based.
There is no tag specifically for "beats and breaks" types of releases intended for DJs and music producers, nor is there a tag for other forms of dance music that contain funky drum breaks (aside from Breaks), regardless of whether it is made with samples, tape loops, drum machines, or played live. Some Discogs users nevertheless use Breaks and Breakbeat tags on these types of records, going back as far as 1982 for the first Jive Rhythm Trax release.