Breaking Biscuits is an experimental side project featuring Adam Dietch and Borham Lee of Break Science playing alongside Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits. Their first show together was at Brooklyn Comes Alive, that wild melting pot of musical talents whose marathon twelve-hour schedule consistently brings the best out of a diverse cast of characters put in concert with each other for the first time. This weekend, Breaking Biscuits reunited for a limited three-night run, including Friday’s performance at Brooklyn Bowl, to satisfy the excitable new audience they fostered with the popularity of the AUD recording from their performance at BCA back in October.
Their aesthetic can probably best be described as Wabi Sabi — the imperfect perfect — as Breaking Biscuits sets out not to deliver seamless renditions of the songs they perform nor to radically change them and mold them into some sort of new sound. Like a cracked teacup that has been repaired with molten gold, the band’s performance is improved by its imperfections. With set lists composed of some of downtempo electronic and trip-hop’s most classic tunes, they’ve veered off in a different direction than either of the bigger projects from which they were spun off.
Unlike Break Science, they’re less clinically exacting, less perfectly in sync and built around hammering EDM breaks. Unlike the Disco Biscuits, they’re less freeform and experimental, less inclined to devolve into blissed-out explorative spacefunk. Instead, the band has found a happy medium, delivering soaring, glorious renditions of electronic compositions that have captivated young producers for years, all without the assistance of backing tracks and simply crafted on the fly by four gifted instrumentalists.
This weekend’s show featured some repeats from their last Brooklyn gig: “Little Fluffy Clouds” by The Orb, “La Femme D’Argent” by Air, DJ Shadow’s building “Steam With A Grain Of Salt,” and RJD2’s seminal “The Horror.” This time around however, playing two sets as the featured act (instead of one as they did at BCA), the group needed to stretch out their material, adding some new covers to the mix. This included another RJD2 track, “Endtroducing” from DJ Shadow, and a very ripping Justice cover.
While the band is not as strictly improvisational as the the Biscuits nor as dance-y as Break Science, what they do bring to the table is a remarkable capacity to craft intricate and expanding soundscapes that defy easy classification and foster a sense of intimacy in the audience. Few people can leave a show of theirs without a sense of reverence and gratitude; instead of focusing on showing off their considerable respective talents, the band takes a more satori-like approach — doing without doing — or as another author might put it, “the music plays the band.”
[Video courtesy of Patrick Hughes]
You can check out photos from Breaking Biscuits’ performance at Brooklyn Bowl on Friday below, courtesy of photographer Andrew Blackstein.