Fans of the acid-jazz sound pioneered by the likes of Jamiroquai and Brand New Heavies may already be familiar with classic house revivalist Breach even if they’re unlikely to make the connection instantly. The 32-year-old Amsterdam-based producer first attracted attention with two albums of silky smooth soul recorded under his real name, Ben Westbeech, before switching his focus to the dancefloor.
Released through Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings label, 2007 debut Welcome To The Best Years Of Your Life may have positioned Breach as a Jay Kay-esque crooner, but the classically-trained cellist and vocalist began his career working with jungle veteran Shy FX after meeting him at a Fabio & Grooverider Swerve club night back in 1999.
Collaborations with Dutch duo Kraak & Smaak (“Squeeze Me”), Berlin DJ Jazzanova (“I Can See”) and drum ‘n’ bass maestro DJ Marko (“Shame”) appeared to inspire Westbeech to explore his love of dance music on his 2011 follow-up, There’s More To Life Than This. But his first full-throttle solo venture into the club scene arrived later that year when he adopted the Breach moniker and unleashed “Fatherless,” an intriguing and slow-burning bass anthem defined by an infectious chopped and diced flute loop.
After writing the vocal hook for Redlight’s crossover hit, “Get Out Of My Head,” he then founded his own Naked Naked record label where he signed the likes of Dusky, Midland and Dark Sky as well as dropping several other tracks (“You Won’t Find Love Again,” “Let’s Get Hot”) under the Breach name.
His commercial breakthrough arrived in July when “Jack,” a brilliantly sleazy Chicago house pastiche which came equipped with a mesmerising, if slightly disturbing, promo featuring expertly choreographed hairy monsters, nestled its way inside the UK Top 10.
Breach’s latest single, “Everything You Never Had,” a soulful slice of Italo house featuring the vocals of Flying Lotus collaborator Andreya Triana, continues to suggest that the second phase of his career will be far more fruitful than his first.