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.