Live Review: Breakfest

5 January 2016 | 1:38 pm | Sean Drill

"As the duo warmed up, the funky sound they are renowned for kept all present dancing right until the end."

For many WA fans of electronic music, it wouldn’t be Boxing Day without a trip down to Belvoir. With the recent news of the collapse of long running festivals like Future Music and Soundwave, it's good to see a sold out show for Breakfest’s 15th year. Thankfully this year the normally torturous heat was replaced by a temperature in the very bearable low 30s.

As usual, Boomtick have organised a show that stretches the range of music that falls outside "four on the floor". On offer was a great selection of local, interstate and international acts playing everything from breakbeat to drum’n’bass, trap to footwork and dubstep.

Local acts got to share two different stages. The first stage was the Beach Party stage with umbrellas, trees and a full size beach volleyball court with impromptu games breaking out whilst the music drove onlookers to dance. The definite highlights came from Pussymittens and MO'Fly who dropped classic electroclash tunes mixed with acid breaks and electro bangers, quickly followed by Graceis and Sistym who quickly doubled the crowd's size and cranked the tempo with a heavy set of hard techstep and jungle.

For those who are fans of 180 BPM beats, the amphitheater was also hosting Marky with local MC Xsessiv. Definitely the first act of the day to really push the sound system, those punters standing by the stage in front of the subs were brutalised by weapon after weapon as Xsessiv continued to hype the crowd and starting to fill the area with sweating dancing bodies.

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Although not the headliner, the act I saw elicit the most smiles from the crowd was A-Skillz. 75 minutes of mash-ups, turntablism and classic tunes — Rage Against the Machine, House of Pain, AC/DC, Queen, A Tribe Called Quest and many, many more were played in quick succession; often piled two or three songs deep. He seemed to feed off the crowd with constant cheers and dozens of beach balls bouncing around the amphitheater.

Outside the amphitheater was a sweatbox of a tent that although never quite filled, seemed to only contain people who were dancing. Beneath a giant inflatable jellyfish, Breakfest veteran Mafia Kiss played a very bass house heavy set (which seemed quite at odds with the breaks theme of the day) but would intercut this with classic breaks and half time d’n’b. Following him were Spenda C and Hydraulix, both of whom played sets containing plenty of complextro, dubstep and grime sounds. However it was Wuki dropping the Macarena that was a definite WTF highlight for the day.

With the sun starting to set, Danny Byrd took to the stage. The darkness allowed for the full lighting rig to shine, with green lasers dancing all around the vast expanse. Byrd is a master of reading a crowd, he had the perfect balance of dubplates and classic tunes. He kept building up the crowd and smashing it with breakdown after breakdown — some of the biggest reactions from the crowd came whenever tracks by Pendulum got dropped.

Finally it was time for the headliners. There are a few acts that really exemplify the Breakfest spirit, acts that come back year after year, and it would seem set their Christmas holidays around Perth. Stanton Warriors are one of these acts. They epitomise the breakbeat sound, being true purists of the genre.

It really is an incredible sight to see the Belvoir Ampitheatre filled to capacity with people dancing in time. The Warriors set was very bass heavy with a sub sound that rolled all the way up through the crowd. Analogue synth lines and skipping breaks filled the night air. The set started off very mechanical and cold, but as the duo warmed up, the funky sound they are renowned for kept all present dancing right until the end.