How to make ‘Jack’ by Breach

The track ‘Jack’ by Breach is interesting in more ways than one. It is an example of when underground music becomes too popular for the niche few, and spills over into pop culture. 

The track was never written with a view to attaining commercial success, it just happened! Released initially on Claude von Stroke’s Dirtybird label, it did the business in Miami at the WMC this year and was subsequently hammered by DJs around the world. Dirtybird were then approached by Atlantic who wanted to licence and re-release the track with a nice shiny video, and a load of mainstream radio play – almost unheard of!

This mainstream success follows in the footsteps of such acts as Disclosure – ‘underground’ music that has achieved a bridge of the gap between the underground and mainstream, whilst remaining credible. Simple melodies and great production which also works on the dance floor – the holy grail!

Therein lies my reason for making this tutorial. I originally heard this track on Radio 1 at about 10am one morning and thought ‘what the hell is that?!’ It’s simplicity blew me away (plus the fact that Radio 1 were having a rave at 10am), and this is something which you need to understand as a dance music producer: less is more, simplicity is the key. Not only will the clubber find it easier to digest simple, strong melodic content, but it’s easier to mix in the studio and therefore easier to get it sounding good on a loud club system.

We’re looking in detail here at a couple of the elements, namely the bass line and the main sample. All the vocals are actually done by breach himself (even the female ones, clever plug-ins used!) so hopefully this will give you some ideas for interesting applications of your own voice and recorded samples.