This week saw the return of one of the last decades more influential Breakcore and IDM producers. Joseph Fraioli, better known as Datach’i, posted the above live studio recording of Monarchs with mention of an upcoming full length album. Departing from the combined chaotic, omnipresent percussive onslaught mixed with melodic bliss that many identify with the earlier work of Datach’i, Monarchs is a haunting ghost of a time gone by, almost a funeral mass for the Drill’n Bass sound that permeated IDM for a period.
It’s hard not to conflate the underground popularity of Breakcore and the more gritty elements of the IDM sound with the War on Terror, whose shadow loomed over much of the artistic aesthetic of the first decade of the 21st century. While the sound began developing in the late 90s, it truly hit a stride in the first half of the following decade, assisted by newer technology like the ubiquitous software tracker DAW, Renoise.
With a constant news cycle of death and destruction, political malfeasance and corruption, the sounds of Venetian Snares, Doormouse and Duran Duran Duran spoke to a creeping, self-depricating nihilism among some music fans. At the same time, the polar opposite to this maximal sound assault was brewing in the form of the bare bones sound of original, old school Dubstep that emanated from Croydon and other UK towns.
Few labels represented these chaotic diversions in artistic motion better than Planet Mu. Still riding the cusp of urban musical movements today, Planet Mu’s Mike Paradinas has consistently cultivated an unflappable group of minds. With an eclectic mixture of experimental styles from the last 17 years, the label is still setting trends and inspiring new generations of composers.
A decidedly different tone from much of the work that brought Datach’i to the forefront in the last decade, Monarchs may be a sign of what is to come with his full length album. It’s hard to imagine a complete lack of the intense drum programming that we’ve heard previously, however Monarchs might indicate a wholesale departure from that period.
Has Breakcore inspired your sound design? Let us know in the comments!