It was quite early in the morning when I called the UK, and computer problems meant I called a little late and had to cut my interview short, but Tayo, the Don of the breakbeat world, was gracious and kind, and let me conduct the interview without any sense of annoyance, although he did stifle a few yawns every now and then. Having been around since year dot, working with Adam Freeland, being head of Mob Records, who gave Stanton Warriors a push start, and with his radio show ‘Dread at the Controls’ on KISS FM, he is at the forefront of pushing new sounds and keeping the breaks scene vibrant and alive.
He has also put out many a compilation including Beatz and Bobz and Y4K, and his new Mix CD “These Are the Breaks” is the follow up to Krafty Kuts’ fantastic double album from 2003. “They wanted me to do it,” Tayo says about the new compilation. “DMC got in touch and said they were re-igniting the series and they wanted me to do this one. I guess the label wanted to do a breaks series and they already had a brand in place, so they called me in.” The mix is quite different from Krafty Kuts mix. Whereas Krafty blends hiphop, funk, breaks and even dnb, Tayo is straight up dubby breaks, a sound which Tayo has made his own.
“It’s very much the music I’m involved in and that I make,” he notes, “and I’m just trying to bring my own interpretation of the breaks so people don’t get bored of the breakbeat formula. I think sometimes it can be a little straight ahead and know what you’re getting, you know?” and I agree, but also say how I think breaks one is the most interesting scenes out there. “There’s a lot of interesting music out there,” Tayo agrees, “and I was just trying to put my own stamp on it. It does have a few of my own productions on there because this style (dubby breaks) is hard to find,” he adds, “but at the same time making tunes is what I have been doing for the last year or so.”
And that doesn’t mean Tayo is bored with breaks, on the contrary he is enjoying the broad brush that breaks DJs paint with. “If I look through my record box I’m quite happy with what I’ve got at the moment. I’ve been looking out to other scenes, all related to the breaks genre, but not quite so much nu-school breaks, which can seem a little formulaic sometimes. But it was a chance to get some of the stuff I’ve been involved with out there.”
Tayo has been rather busy in the studio. “I’ve got a track coming out on Mantra Breaks I did with Acid Rockers called ‘Shorty the Pimp’, I’ve got another coming out on Aquasky’s label Passenger called ‘Wildlife Dub’, I’ve just done a remix of Basement Jaxx, and I’ve got a single coming out on Finger Lickin’ later this year, and they want me to do some more stuff and make an albums worth. I’m going to let stuff incubate for the next few months and get it done,” he says of the deal, which will be his first artist album. “It’s going to be whole new stuff, because the mix album was done so I could get my stuff off my hard drive and out there. Now I want to concentrate on less dancefloor tracks and more album tracks, with vocalists and so on. It’ll still be dancefloor,” he assures me “but just less 12 inch, shall we say? There will be stuff I’ve worked on but haven’t released… I’ve got a grand idea for it, but whether it works out like that is another thing, but I’m going to have fun trying.”
Tayo is also looking forward to coming to Adelaide. He says he’s only had one ‘big’ show in Adelaide, and that was at the Beach Party in 2004, but I assure him that breaks is a lot bigger now through the efforts of Blake of Stardust, Los Proyectos Magicos, Hi-Fi, and the Adelaide Breaks Collective. Being reassured after I told him about the massive Krafty Kuts and Stanton Warriors show late last year, Tayo is looking forward to “having fun and getting a good crowd” at the end of March.