Upfront: Breakwave

Coming through in a big way, Breakwave seems set on exploring the boundaries of the electronic music realm, whether through her Meine Nacht parties and newly launched record label or collaborative AV performances, her desire to merge mediums and off-set the norm of clubbing couldn’t have come at a better time. 

We chat to Breakwave about her recent projects and future game plan. 


“There is no set sound; it’s more a documentation of sound and recordings that I am into, limited to a number of physical pieces.”

You came through as a DJ after starting your scene changing club night, Meine Nacht, in Liverpool. Just over three years in, how’s the party progressed?

My first parties took place in really small Gallery spaces, an old supermarket, police station; one that sticks out is the supermarket canteen party, the DJ setup was in the food hatch so the DJ was playing in the kitchen area and the crowd were in the canteen. There was also a chill out space in what was the packing factory, the labels of all the products were still on the walls i.e. Kellogs Cornflakes, and the food goods escalators in that room lead to the downstairs space. It was a really rowdy party and it took ages to clean up afterwards. There have been massive developments since then with Meine Nacht, parties have taken place in obscure spaces within huge warehouses and commercial buildings. It’s an opportunity for the audience to see DJ’s perform up-close, somewhere they’ll probably never visit again, that’s what makes it unique. I don’t announce the location until the day of the event because right from the start there’s always been more that want to come than can actually get in and the numbers are capped in order to preserve the atmosphere. The party has been referred to as a peer-to-peer network, it’s a returning community of people and these people talk about their experiences, this has generated more and more interest.

It’s not something that is easily replicated; I guess that’s down to the following, reputation and the awareness of the party’s ‘ethos’. I don’t want it to be too far away from what it was back at the start though, so the label will help to preserve the Meine Nacht ethos and will offer a broad spectrum of ‘events’.

You very recently announced the Meine Nacht record label with a two-tracker from Manchester’s Daniel Ruane. Both tracks are pure heat, experimental, with the spaciousness of grime with a broken rhythm and totally built for the club. Really curious to know what the idea behind the label is, if there is one?

I’m glad you think so! I started the label in an effort to provide a multi-disciplinary platform for artists. My interest lies in sound production, mixed media performance, visual art, experimentation, artistic curation and collaboration on alternative club experiences. The idea is to work with and create a network of artists from all backgrounds, whether it be emerging artists or those that are already established. There is no set sound; it’s more a documentation of sound and recordings that I am into, limited to a number of physical pieces. I want to present works that I am really interested in and Daniel’s music is an example of this; hopefully the music will reach out to a wider audience.

The EP cover is beautiful. You’re also launching the Meine Nacht label with a curated performance of 360-degree projections at Tate Liverpool. What’s your process when it comes to the visual side of your labels and parties and what inspires it?

Thomas Murray, 2018. Cover art for ‘Daniel Ruane – Tengu EP’ released via Meine Nacht on 12″ dubplate and digital. 

It’s a collaborative effort between artists when it comes to the visual aesthetic; the aim is to work with a variety of visual artists. The event and label will encompass varying aspects of sound, visual media and technology. I put a lot of thought and research into the visual aesthetic for the launch at Tate; the current artwork is based on sculpture and fictional structures, something I wanted to purvey through the label. I wanted the audience to be able to connect to the music on more than one level, to be truly immersed in the live performances. This was demonstrated on the night through the 360 degrees audio reactive and interactive visual installation which myself and Thomas Murray worked on for quite some time.

The aim was to explore ideas through 3D surrealist art and cinema 4D renders, it was something I was looking into heavily as I had the idea to create a virtual world to connect the audience to the live performances at Tate. An exhibition took place at Tate in a purpose-built blacked out space; this inspired my idea of artists performing in an environment alike, with that came the concept of artists performing in the middle of the room – it was a less ‘conventional’ layout and a more engaging atmosphere, the visual installation panned around the space and the audience had freedom to explore the ‘virtual world’ whilst the live performances took place.

Expanding more into the reasoning of the project, the idea was to create a ‘world’ that was not limited to a 2-dimensional space. The 360 degrees aspect would ensure that there was no frame, which in essence, immerses the viewer into the scene. The debut 360 degrees VR video has been an ambitious project for us to work on, both Thomas and myself believe that it is ‘virtual entertainment’ that bridges the gap between reality and fiction.

What’s been your favourite party or club to play outside of your own over the last 12 months?

I really enjoyed playing at KALT in Strasbourg, it really makes a difference when sound in the booth is right. They have Funktion-One monitors; the booth is concrete and really spacious. The club itself is very interesting, it really reminds me of a space where I held some of my own parties. It’s in the middle of nowhere and you don’t really know what to expect, the crowd is great and I like the variation on their line-ups.

“It’s an opportunity for the audience to see DJ’s perform up-close, somewhere they’ll probably never visit again, that’s what makes it unique.”

Who’re you feeling right now in terms of production? Can you tip us off to anyone we may not have heard of?

Oh there’s so many, Frank Bretschneider. Smog’s recent release is great, it’s described as a combination of ethereal atmospheres, distorted metallic noise, broken and harsh beats. LOFT – ‘That Hyde Trakk’ is one to check out. Avbvrn, Rian Treanor, Aquarian/AQXDM, Daniel Ruane. For the club, I recently bought Pugilist’s Chrysalis EP the first track is a roller, been playing a lot of Martsman’s stuff. I could go on for days.

How’re your own productions shaping up?

Its going great thanks, I’ve been so busy but I’m going to make it my priority over summer to get things finished. I’m working on material for my live set too, which takes up a lot of time.

What’s next?

With Meine Nacht, there are plans in the works for a collaborative mixed media event, I’m really excited about that one. I have a ‘residency’ coming up for one evening on a well-known station. The first EP on Meine Nacht has just launched, there’s some Dubplates left on Bandcamp and I’ll be taking some to my gigs for people to purchase. Aside from running my series of ‘Unseen Places’ parties, I occasionally team up with a club called 24 Kitchen Street based in Liverpool (where I hold a residency) to throw the odd party, this time it’s with DJ Sprinkles. Daniel and I are currently developing our live set, we will debut the hour-long performance at this event. It incorporates composition from both artists, including ambient soundscapes and heady sound design. It’s something I’m really keen to do more of, so we are hoping to expand on the project – the performance from Tate will also feature on my upcoming NTS show on 4 May. I’ve got some great gigs coming up too!

Published 7 months ago

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