Florida breaks

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Florida breaks, also referred to as Orlando breaks, The Breaks, or The Orlando Sound is a genre of breakbeat dance music that originated in central region of the State of Florida, United States.[1] Florida Breaks originates from a mixture of hip-hop, Miami bass and electro that often includes recognizable sampling of early jazz or funk beats from rare groove or popular film. Florida's breakbeat style feature vocal elements[2] and retains the hip-hop rhythms on which is based.[1] The Florida breakbeat style however is faster, more syncopated, and has a heavier and unrelenting bassline.[2] The beat frequently slows and breaks down complex beat patterns and then rebuilds in a way that is widely felt to be easier to dance to and creates an uplifting, happy, or positive mood in the listener.[2]


Late 1980s - Early 1990s[edit]

The unique Florida style was first encountered during the late '80s inside the historic Beacham Theatre in Orlando.[2] The breaks genre continued to gain popularity as a local underground music subculture became developed during Orlando's Summer of Love era from roughly 1989 to 1992 and simply "exploded" into prominence in mid-1993.

Mid 1990s popularity[edit]

External audio
Passion by K5 is an example of Florida Breaks, YouTube video
Nick Newton's - Planet Acid combines acid, electro, and breakbeat elements for a grittier Florida sound,
Set U Free by Planet Soul exemplifies the vocal and breakdown elements of Florida Breaks, YouTube video
Nick Newton's Orlando mix of Screamer the progressive style defined the Orlando Sound

The "Orlando Sound" was wildly popular among DJs and club goers in Florida and the sound was marketed as "Orlando friendly". The genre soon gained acclaim and became internationally popular in club culture during the mid 1990s.[2] However, there did not seem to universal consensus on the exact elements that constituted the Orlando Sound.[2] The Orlando Sound was also known as Florida breaks after Nick Newton, an English breaks DJ and producer, called his 1996 record Orlando.[3]

The genre received limited local radio play in Central Florida on radio stations WXXL (106.7 FM)[2] and on college radio WPRK (91.5 FM),[2] as well as WUCF (89.9 FM), WFIT (89.5 FM on Space Coast), and WMNF (88.5 FM in Tampa).[3]

A compilation album of various Florida breaks artists called Sunshine State Of Mind was released in 1997


The international popularity of Florida breaks peaked and began to wane since 2000.[2] However, the genre is still quite popular among those who remember the era in Central Florida and the genres unique role in electronic music history is frequently celebrated.[1]

The genre's inspirational influences have created regional and preference variations of the Breaks within Florida that have made the genre more difficult to define. The Orlando Sound of Central and Northern Florida were strongly influenced by new beat, trance and progressive house sounds and it is the progressive breaks that some older fans cherished while younger fans seemed to prefer a more simple electro breakbeat style. Producers in South Florida kept with a deep house flavor or retained more of the funk and hip-hop influence of Miami's so-called "ghetto-bass" that evolved and is sometimes called the funky breaks.[2][4]

Florida Breaks artists[edit]

DJs Icey,[1] Stylus,[1] Kimball Collins,[1] Dave Cannalte,[1] Andy Hughes,[1] Chris Fortier, [2] K5,[2] Rick West,[4] Huda Hudia,[4] Sharazz,[4] Dynamix II,[4] Robby Clark,[3] Michael Donaldson,[3] Sandy Fite,[3] Chris Milo,[3] Mark Snyder,[3] Cliff Tangredi,[3] Eli Tobias,[3] D-Extreme,[citation needed] Baby Anne,[citation needed] Friction & Spice[citation needed] Teknatronik and Peter Wohelski[3] specialized in Florida Breaks.

Early Florida Breaks venues[edit]

AAHZ (Orlando),[1] The Edge (Orlando).[1] The Abyss (Orlando),[1] The Club at Firestone (Orlando),[2] The Beach Club (Orlando),[3] Icon (Orlando),[2] Simon's (Gainesville),[5] Marz (Cocoa Beach),[3] The Edge (Fort. Lauderdale),[5] and Masquerade (Tampa)[5] were early Florida Breaks venues.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Le-Huu, Bao (November 28, 2015). "AAHZ respects the breaks that made Orlando global, overdue propers for DJ Stylus (The Beacham)". Retrieved December 1, 2015. The AAHZ days, though absolutely foundational, were an elementary phase in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s that heavily featured European house sounds. But the breaks – a breakbeat subgenre braided of hip-hop, Miami bass and electro – was the Orlando sound, our original chapter and contribution to the EDM world. And when the breaks surged in the mid ‘90s, it was the Orlando dance scene at its apex, when we weren’t just playing the leading sounds but making and exporting them. When it comes to breaks, the names that really jump out on this heavyweight lineup are Icey and Stylus, the two DJs who actually specialized in the style. {blog of Orlando Weekly's music column}
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Gettelman, Parry (February 9, 1997). "The Orlando Sound Although Hard To Define, It's Hot Among Lovers Of Underground Dance Music". orlandosentinel.com. The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ferguson, Jason; Le-Huu, Bao (July 2, 2013). "Dance dance revolution". orlandoweekly.com. The Orlando Weekly. Retrieved July 28, 2016. The 1990s was formative in the electronic dance music awakening of America, and that fire-catching cultural momentum would vault Orlando to the vanguard of it all. As one of the premier global epicenters of the rave big bang, the city found itself on equal footing with not just New York or Los Angeles but also with the trailblazing U.K. scene (English breaks DJ-producer Nick Newton named his 1996 record Orlando), even siring its own sound (Florida breaks). 
  4. ^ a b c d e Gentile, Jessica (November 4, 2014). "Florida Breaks in the 1990s: Beats Get Sleazy in the Weirdo Armpit of America". thump.vice.com. VICE. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Gentile, Jessica (November 5, 2014). "The Essential Rave Nightclubs of Floridian History". thump.vice.com. VICE. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 

External links[edit]