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|Cultural origins||Late 1990s, London, UK|
Breakstep evolved from the 2-step garage sound. Moving away from the more soulful elements of garage, it incorporated downtempo drum and bass style basslines, trading the shuffle of 2-step for a more straightforward breakbeat drum pattern. The breakthrough for this style came in 1999 from DJ Dee Kline's "I Don't Smoke" selling 15,000 units on Rat Records, until eventually being licensed to EastWest in 2000 and climbing to number 11 in the UK Singles Chart. Following this came DJ Zinc's "138 Trek", an experiment with drum and bass production at UK garage tempo (138 bpm). This instigated a dialog between breaks and garage producers, with Forward>> (a club night at Plastic People, London) playing host to Zed Bias and Oris Jay (a.k.a. Darqwan). They were mirrored in breaks by producers such as DJ Distance.
- McDonnell, John (10 November 2008). "Scene and heard: Bring breakstep back". The Guardian.
Long before dubstep became the popular fare of weed-addled students around the country, there was a genre that helped the transition from the sickly sweet sound of UK garage to the bass-drenched south London sound. That genre was breakbeat garage, now more popularly known as breakstep.
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