(born on 1981)
The project of French producer Thibaut Berland and vocalist Irfane, Breakbot combines funk, disco, house, French touch, and more into an ultra-stylish blend. Berland first made a name for himself in 2006 with a remix of Justice's "Let There Be Light" that was included on the Waters of Nazareth EP released in Japan. The following year, Berland issued the Happy Rabbit EP, his debut release as Breakbot, on the Klee label. He also established himself as an in-demand remixer, working on tracks by Digitalism, Sébastien Tellier, Röyksopp, and many others. Breakbot made his Ed Banger debut in 2010 with Baby I'm Yours, which featured vocals by Irfane and remixes by Siriusmo and La Funk Mob. 2011's Fantasy and the following year's One Out of Two -- both of which featured guest vocals by Ruckazoid -- paved the way for Breakbot's 2012 debut album, By Your Side. The album arrived in the States in April 2013. Breakbot spent the next few years touring and remixing tracks by Birdy Nam Nam, Phoenix, and Busy P while working on new music on the road. Berland and Irfane -- now a full-fledged member of Breakbot -- entered the studio of Berland's brother David in 2015. Taking inspiration from Curtis Mayfield, Michael Jackson, and Prince, the act's first new music in three years arrived with the "Get Lost" single. The full-length Still Waters was released in early 2016. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Electronic/Dance - Released September 17, 2012 | Ed Banger Records
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The debut album from Parisian producer Breakbot (aka Thibaut Berland) is so unabashedly sweet that it's no surprise the album cover features him lovingly rendered in milk and white chocolate. However, a can of soda might have been a more accurate choice: By Your Side is full of fizzy, catchy fusions of disco, soft rock, and dance that are pop through and through. The album's two-part title track, which features guest vocals by Pacific!, defines and encompasses the winsome pop and celebratory disco Breakbot does so well as it moves from the first part's sugary harmonies to the sidling basslines and laser synths of part two. Several years in the making, the album collects many of the singles that came before it, including the winning "One Out of Two," which arrived shortly before By Your Side and served as a potent reminder that Breakbot's music was even more ultra-stylized and catchy than some of the other Frenchmen who have been honing the nexus of these sounds since the '90s. Along with Pacific!, Berland invites Ruckazoid and Irfane to give voice to his songs; while the former's sparkling tenor adds some Michael Jackson-like thrills to "Fantasy" and "Why," it's the latter who seems to best embody Berland's mix of romantic glamour and down-to-earth charm. Irfane shines on the '80s-tinged "Baby I'm Yours" and "A Mile Away," and his softer singing style is a perfect fit for the more vulnerable vibe of "The Mayfly and the Light" and "Another Dawn." As joyous as most of By Your Side is, Breakbot's songs are more teasing promises than full-on euphoria; while this restraint is welcome on the album's vocal tracks, at times Berland's instrumental pieces feel a little subdued, as on "Programme," where it seems like another part should be dropping into the track at any moment but never does. Regardless, By Your Side is a charming debut from a producer with an instantly appealing sound. ~ Heather Phares
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Breakbot in the magazine