BREAKFEST @ Belvoir Amphitheatre


Monday, December 26, 2016
Belvoir Amphitheatre

Another Boxing Day, another Breakfest. Perth’s favourite and longest running dance festival was back for another year of fun in the sun, in the beautiful surrounds of Belvoir Amphitheatre. The weather always seems to turn it on for Breakfest, as if the gods are breaks fans, and this year was no exception. It’s that celebratory time of year, when everyone’s in that weird, little limbo zone between Christmas and New Year’s. And whether it was the particularly shitty year most people were looking forward to ending, or the particularly good lineup – this year everyone seemed particularly keen to party and the vibe was high from early on.

There was a plethora of talent on early across all stages. As well as the amphitheatre, up top there was the big Hiline Hangar tent, which had a wicked visual setup and banging sound, and hosted some of the heavier bass music for the day. Across the way a little, near the beach volleyball setup, was the Beach Party stage which hosted a smorgasbord of local talent, back-to-back all day. As well as the little Tropical Silent Disco tent for a boogie to some more random selections, and the endless hilarity of watching people dance in silence to two different types of music.

There was a great range of music, but not too many stages or too far apart – another winning factor about the festival. But Breakfest is always about the amphitheatre – the majestic setting is the best venue in Perth – and this year there was even more reason than usual to stay in the big bowl, with a mighty, solid lineup.

Fast becoming a Breakfest favourite, Lady Waks was back again this year and a perfect choice to get things really started in the late afternoon. The crowd was just beginning to get going. She played a set of great party breaks. Nothing too heavy or engaging and a tendency to mix up the beats frequently in a mashup style. But the Russian’s sharp, acidic breaks, bass and infectious enthusiasm were just the recipe for cutting loose, bouncing behind the decks with her beaming smile. She came down to the front of stage to dance, shake hands and take selfies with the crowd.

Local legends and Breakfest stalwarts Black & Blunt know just what the people want and got things rolling in the Hiline Hangar. Before Chicago basshead with the funny name, Willy Joy took over. His first visit to Australia, and he came to party and mixed a relentless onslaught of wobbling drops and electro-bass.


Back in the amphitheatre Lady Waks was finishing her set with a vocal jungle track, before she handed over with great reverence to Krafty Kuts. Rightfully so, as the veteran has earned his stripes and entitled to the respect he receives. A guy who’s been coming here for many years, the Breakfest crowd have special place in the hearts for Krafty. A musical connoisseur and DJ extraordinaire, he worked his way through a precision set, cutting up Gimme The Breaks, his Kurtis Blow remix with A Skillz, Niggaz In Paris, then into a big breaks remix of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, and a mashup of Blur’s Song 2 with the Plumps DJs.

Krafty was smashing it, but still holding back a little, leaving it to the ever-amazing DJ Z-Trip to really blow the roof off (if there was one). While his eclectic, cut ‘n’ paste, mashup style is nothing mind-blowingly unexpected, it was nonetheless absolutely goin’ off.

Z is a real master of his craft – a turntablist of the highest order – you can tell he spends a lot of time working on his sets and playing around with many different sounds and styles. You can also tell he loves doing it, and it comes through in his performance. There’s no such thing as genre in a Z-Trip set – it all goes into the blender and comes out chopped up in his own vision.

A frienzied sequence saw a collision of sounds ranging from the classic Twist Em Out from Dillinja featuring Skibadee, to the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage. From Smells Like Teen Spirit to Pony, it was all killer, no filler til the end, when he hit everyone right in the feels with a touching tribute to George Michael, mixing in Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and then Careless Whisper which had the whole amphitheatre singing along passionately “I’m never gonna dance again, the way I danced with you.”

Meawhile upstairs Bezwun & Lifetime Grime were absolutely killing it on the Beach Party stage, laying down some ridiculously heavy beats. Over in in the Hiline Hanger things were getting hectic. A fairly uninspired set from Oski was followed by an aggressive set of Jersey Club and Trap from DJ Sliink with Stacks Cartel. Their big sound was hampered for a bit when there was some trouble with the sound – the bass cut out – thankfully it was soon rectified and big electro breaks and jacked up trap step was booming through the hangar.

But the tent really blew up when S.P.Y. stepped up. All the true d’n’b fans descended on the Hiline Hangar to see it packed with one the biggest crowds all day. With our own MC Xsessive rocking the mic, the Brazilian drum ‘n’ bass maestro delivered one of the sets of the day – big, liquid sounds, smooth, rolling beats in the old school stylee, with some big rewinds.

In the amphitheatre AC Slater was pounding out big bass sounds with an incredible visual show, now the sun had gone down, but his music wasn’t as engaging.


Then the Plump DJs came on, and people were fully engaged. Absolute legends of the scene, the Plumps have been laying low of late, recently emerging last year with some new material – the first in a long time. And by golly it’s good to have them back again. The boys are on form and delivered what was undoubtedly the set of the night.

Starting by slowing it down a little bit and bringing the funk their set was a tightly mixed journey through breaks old and new – from Cassius classic 1999 and Motion Unit’s superb My Mind, to some of the Plumps own new tracks like the superb bouncy bassy breaks of Yes Yes. They’re back with a new edge. Their sound is always immaculate – a distinct style with crisp clear highs yet deep heavy beats and bass – and boy was it cranking!

The Plumps left it on such a high, it would be a hard act to follow – but afterwards, to take us home, was the man himself, the king of jungle, UK legend, Aphrodite with Xsessive stepping up again to MC, and getting the crowd right into it. It was all classic jungle and breaks – the man’s still got it – great to see him behind the decks rocking the amphitheatre with a headline set. He’s been coming here for a long time, and Perth always shows their love for drum ‘n’ bass. Towards the end the volume was absolutely cranked – one of the first times in quite a long time I’ve felt the need to move back from the speakers. A huge finale. And with that, we welcome you 2017. Breakfest – never change.

Words and Photos


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