Breach – DJ-Kicks
Label: !K7Score: 8/10
Finally receiving the honour to contribute to something that he grew up with, Breach unveils his unique and eclectic take on DJ-Kicks, released on 18 November 2013. A man of many talents, Breach AKA Ben Westbeech takes this opportunity to display his true range of appreciation within the realm of house and techno. So throw ‘Jack’ out the window because there’s a world more than that it when it comes to this man, who managed to pull it all together while following an incredibly demanding tour. Breach stated, “Yeah, it was fun, it was daunting, but a challenge and I think something that challenges is always good. Kept me busy for sure.”
The first track, Innercity’s ‘Prince of the Immortal Woods’, creeps in, leaving little to no time to warm to it. However, solace is soon found through Wire People’s ‘Triangle Vision’. Things become clear that Innercity was meant to rattle us, to shake us off whatever trajectory we were on before we pressed ‘play’. Yet, ‘Triangle Vision’ sets the pace right with its impeccably crisp handclaps, subtly determined guitar strings, and smooth, winter vocals. From there, it’s a fade into an earth-shaking bassline. ‘All Day’ by Beesmunt Soundsystem is dark energy, dressed up in a cool suit. Fred P.’s ‘It Is What It Is’ follows next as a favourite selection of Westbeech, who writes, “I moved to Amsterdam and it’s something that I found over here; I’d heard of Fred P., but never that record. It’s just so beautiful.” The track is characterised by static disruptions that stagger through a reverberating string of endlessly building and lowering glassy chords. A quality choice in the mix is ‘Hoyle Road’ by Pedestrian, whose Sampha-like vocals and tropical xylophonics provide an out-of-body experience. It sounds like the witching hour, a limbo, a place where time and obligations become foreign. Westbeech’s DJ-Kicks exclusive ‘Beroving’ is the starchild of the compilation. Meaning ‘deprivation’ in Dutch, it’s a bouncing track, forever accelerating. Ketty distortions spin out into the abyss, dropping back down to the floor and out into space again. ‘Broken’ by Cassio Kohl doles out a deep and unforgiving bassline, flowing strong underneath smooth vocals and criss-crossing piano keys. The song perfectly rolls into the Dusky remix of ‘My Way’ by CLOSE feat. Joe Dukie, my personal favourite. It’s deep, dark and soulful sing-a-long. The original track, itself, proves to be one that can be reshaped over and over, each time complimenting the prototype in a different style. Joe’s vocals are exceedingly melting into the well-layered jam. The album rounds off with Winx’s ‘How’s The Music’, a track that’s simply put, repetitive, however it sends the listener onto plane of mental capacity. Westbeech puts, “Just some vocal loops, a drum track and a bass drone, it’s the devastating simplicity.” Having discovered the €2 record in a back room, deep in his friend’s Holland record shop, it’s a tune that the man carries around with him from gig to gig, evoking maddening reactions from the crowds. As we fade out, the animal calls and spaceship controls of ‘Nightdrive to Bolland’ by Sabre provide one last side-stepper away from reality and onto to what can only be imagined as an alien jungle of dance.
It’s a firm 8.0/10 from me for the compilation’s diverse representation of style, a notion very true to the man behind Breach. His vast sonic palette is a testament to the archetype of a music lover. Look out for his recent release with Andreya Triana, ‘Everything You Never Had (We Had It All)’.