Club Dance – Sampled breakbeats

As dance music developed in the mid to late 80s, samplers began to become more affordable and producers began to use breakbeats in creating their rhythm tracks. What is a breakbeat? Often taken from seventies funk records, a breakbeat is a sample of the section of a record where all instruments drop out leaving the drummer to groove for a few bars on his own. These samples could then be looped and used to build new rhythm tracks.

Two important sub genres of club dance which were/are based on use of breakbeats are Big Beat and Drum ‘n’ Bass. Both these styles originated in the UK.

Here are a couple of examples.

Fat Boy Slim – “Rockafellar Skank” – Big Beat tunes tend to be at moderate tempos (120-140bpm typically) and keep the breakbeat as a simple one or two bar loop, often with additional drum sounds programmed on top.

Goldie – “Inner City Life” The beats don’t drop ’til about 1.15 so hang in there. A classic drum ‘n’ bass tune with a faster tempo (typically 140-170bpm) and heavily edited breakbeats creating highly complex syncopation.

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