Calling all dancefloor D&B heads. Calling all nu-metal heads. Calling anyone who loves getting lost inside a humungous mix and allows themselves to flung around brutally at the mercy of a DJ who values acts likes Celldweller, Spiritbox, Zardonic or The Qemists as much as they value the likes of Sub Focus, Pendulum, Metrik or The Prototypes.
This mix is for YOU.
Absolute, concentrated, high grade fusion fire from Toronto Is Broken and Sebotage on vocal duties, 1 More Thing is kicking off 2023’s 1 More Mix series in explosive style as the pair roll out a wild, diesel-powered trip.
Laden in IDs, weighing in at 90 minutes and peppered with the type of blends that have you scratching your head and questioning the fabric of reality, it’s been months in the making and it marks the start of the most exciting new chapter for Christian Hoffman’s Toronto Is Broken project.
Following the release of his third album Clare in 2021 – a trilogy-closing album which Christian really honed his nu-metal/D&B signature – this year will see him build on that fusion and sound with a highly anticipated fourth album.
The title, tracklist or release date have yet to be revealed but we can confirm that it will see him fully embrace and realise the sound and blend of the two musical universes that have inspired him since day one. Unlike his previous albums which featured a range of vocalists, this LP moves towards more of a metal style with much more vocal consistency: the super talented Reebz, a songwriter who’s already well established and well versed in both the metal and electronic worlds.
Meanwhile on MC duties, we have Sebotage. Forever front left with his middle finger heartily thrusted to the heavens, Sebotage is a name more associated with streetwear culture within D&B with his own clothing brand. But, as we learn in this interview, he’s been coaxed further and further into the spotlight by Toronto Is Broken, beginning with previous singles Gunfingers and Circle.
So much more from all three of them is set to drop later this year, starting this spring. For added fusion fire, Toronto Is Broken is also dropping a redux version of Clare. Dropping on January 27 on FiXT, CLARE:redux will be full of remixes, instrumentals and originals and will act as a line in the sand before he levels up with some seriously savage and mind-blowing 4.0 designs, rolling deep with Reebz, Sebotage and a more inspired approach than he’s ever experienced in his 10+ year career so far.
It all starts right here with this mix. Consider this a power-up palette cleanser for what lays ahead…
Read on for the full story and the tracklist below. Huge shouts to Toronto Is Broken and Sebotage for such a full-strength way to start 2023. Stay tuned for more XXXXXL energy from all concerned.
This mix! Jeeeeez! What a statement!
Toronto Is Broken: I love doing those Essential Mix style mixes. 90 minutes , two hours type of showcase. Seb and I did a set in Camden last year. We did 90 minutes as headliners.
Sebotage: It was absolute carnage!
Toronto Is Broken: We call the show ‘Clare Live’ but it’s essentially a structured DJ set/hybrid PA which will develop even more with Reebz as she’s part of the new music moving forward. With this type of performance there are interludes and different dynamics. It’s structed like you’re going to see a band and we found 90 minutes is the sweet spot. It’s not too long but it gives us enough time to include everything we want to and give things space to breathe when they need to breathe.
Sebotage: I love drum & bass and back-to-back drops gas me up. But I also love that structure when the music can run for a while. Especially with Christian’s music. The vocals and the vocalists he works with. I think it’s super important to let the music play and roll out at points.
Toronto Is Broken: Definitely. But still give it time to go full-on Hedex mode and drop four tunes at once when I want.
Yes! Or when you bring things back in. Like the Blood Sugar mix or the Rock It mix when you think that tune has come and gone but then woah… There it is again! Love that. Seb, that must be sick to MC to. How did you approach that?
Sebotage: I like to get a feel for the mix before I record it. I like to be a story teller sometimes and I like to listen to the mix and figure out where I need to be. I’m blessed to be a part of Christian’s journey and the mix but I’m a guest on it so I’d like to fit in where I’m needed.
Hype when it’s needed. Tell a story when it’s needed. Or when to step back and let the music do the talking. I’m not there to spit 100 bars over his music, I want to amplify and not take away. So when I can, I’ll try and check the tracklist before the set.
Toronto Is Broken: One of my favourite things to do is then go and change it last minute!
Haha. You’ve got to keep each other on your toes. Let’s get your story together. Seb you first appeared on Gunfingers so how did you link up?
Sebotage: It’s a quite a mad story. I’ve been following Christian’s music for a long time. When I was in a uni 10 years ago me and my mates were massive fans of his. Eight years pass, still loving his music, I end up getting in touch with him. It was one of those 6am moments. I was like, ‘Right, I’m gonna send this guy a message!’ I can’t remember what I wrote, but it was around the time of his Fabrication bootleg. That was huge for me and he needed to know this. We sent a few messages, I’d started my clothing brand and asked him for a guestmix for one of my channels. I sent him a t-shirt in return, the one which happened to have gunfingers on the back of it.
Time went by. I was writing a lot of bars but hadn’t really put anything out on a public level. Then lockdown happened and I thought, ‘Right, I’m going to start recording and put it to the masses and see how it sounds.’ I put a few videos out and went to see my dad in Portugal. When I’m there I get a message from Christian saying, ‘Really random one but I’m about to start on this new journey, taking Toronto Is Broken to a new space. The new song is Gunfingers and I know you like gunfingers because I’m wearing your t-shirt and I’ve seen your videos. Do you want to get involved?
Sebotage: Yeah, right? I’d never done any commercial work before, I’ve never even chased the idea before. I had to have a little think about it. All that personal self doubt and criticism. Wondering how people would receive it. I’m sure you know the feeling.
Sebotage: Anyway, it took me five minutes to realise what an opportunity this was and say yes and I spent the follow two hours to record it. I had no equipment at all so I did it crouched on the bed, under the duvet. I didn’t even have a working mic on the laptop so I used the earpod wired up to my headphones record it with the duvet over my head. At one point my girlfriend even walked in like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ But I did it, I sent it to Christian and he said, ‘You know what? I think this is going to work.’
Toronto Is Broken: I had that intro, the nu-metal riff and the build up and that was it at the time. I think the main inspiration for it was Veteran by Bou. The way the build-up happens and how Trigga goes in over that build up. That’s the same call and response effect I wanted over the guitars. I wanted that anthemic feel. Reaching out to Seb was down to the Gunfingers t-shirt and we even did a limited edition version of the t-shirt for the single.
Love this story! Seb was metal part of your musical journey?
Sebotage: Not as a vocalist. My style as a vocalist came from hip-hop and I have to say Christian has moulded me. But I grew up on Linkin Park and Enter Shikari so have always loved that style of music and that energy. It’s not something I ever thought I’d do so it’s been a learning curve to move from the spoken word, hip-hop approach – which I still do with other artists – but with my work with Christian it’s been a massive learning curve. But you know what? Life throws you a curveball and you’ve got to catch that and embrace that energy. Let’s see where it goes.
Toronto Is Broken: It’s funny. With each track we work on, his voice gets more and more aggressive. He’ll go full scream eventually!
You got the right texture in your voice and energy to make that delivery work. It’s beautiful that you’ve thrown yourself in at the deep end.
Sebotage: Thanks man. I’m very critical of myself and feel I have a long way to go. The voice is a very personal thing isn’t it? Some people are going to like it, others aren’t and no one ever likes their own voice do they? But I come back to the reaction I see from the people who enjoy our music live or the feedback we get and know I’m on the right track. I’m always learning, fine-tuning and that’s a life-long thing isn’t it?
For sure. You’re right about personal taste, too. The same with metal in general. People either love it or they don’t get it. Anyone who came into this music through metal will understand this fusion.
Toronto Is Broken: Yeah. Nu-metal in particular for me, which was a fusion of hip-hop and metal to begin with and was usually around that kinda mid-tempo 100BPM type of vibe. Around the Section 9 time I was listening to a lot of neuro and a lot of expressive things by acts like KOAN and Asa and those type of Inspected guys. So it’s cool to make those type of rhythms again too. There are only so many types of beats you can make at 174BPM.
But you never notice that drop in tempo on the mix. That must take a lot of juggling and thinking. Texturally and dynamically they’re very different and to bring them together takes either a lot of thinking or a lot of balls.
Toronto Is Broken: A lot of that is having time. A lot of people expect the metal and the pretty aggressive dancefloor drum & bass then all of a sudden Tear You Down from Brookes Brothers comes in. That’s one of my favourite moments in the mix. And that’s why I love long mixes to include everything.
You can’t go directly from Zardonic to Brookes Brothers so you have to set the scene, take people on that journey and know your tunes really well. I like playing with structures and one of the reasons I like dancefloor D&B in particular, and mixing in key, is because you can really manipulate the structure and flip between vocals and riffs and bring the focus to particular moments in each track.
Sebotage: It’s like sampling in live mixing. Taking elements you love from tunes and bringing them in a different way which was one of the original inspirations of mixing full stop right at the very start of DJing and hip-hop. Using elements of tunes to inform the other. Obviously the DJ knows the tunes but when the dancefloor or the listener does too, they go absolutely wild.
You’ve done quite a lot of Yana label events and Toronto Is Broken nights haven’t you? How have they gone?
Toronto Is Broken: Yeah we did a few in The Castle and we did a headline show in The Black Heart in Camden.
Sebotage: That was amazing. They were a real proper metal venue and really lovely people totally into what we were doing.
Toronto Is Broken: It was with the Hybrid Blak guys with Mechanical Vein and Biomechanimal. They do that industrial sound and have a really alternative crowd. It was a very cool environment and such a great atmosphere.
Sick! Breaking out of the standard d&b line-up and having a dialogue with a different community. Joining those dots!
Sebotage: Yeah! And after we finished the show we spoke to lots of people and many of them said that D&B wasn’t really in their daily soundtrack. They’re metal heads, nu-metal, death metal, industrial. We came off and they said, ‘We didn’t know we liked drum & bass until we heard that!’ But as we know, everyone likes a certain style of drum & bass. There are enough different styles to suit every single taste. From the really mainstream and commercial to the really niche, extreme crowds.
Toronto Is Broken: My very niche brand of screamo D&B! But I’ve always had a certain element of multi-genre style to my sound.
Yeah we met on a breaks tip through Jay Cunning 10 years ago!
Toronto Is Broken: Yeah he was my manager at the time! So previously the sound was breaks, dubstep, D&B and glitch on one album. Then with Clare, or this forthcoming album, it’s still multi-genre, but not by tempo. It’s by fusing the genres. The D&B and metal are in parallel with each other if that makes sense?
Total sense. I went back to this UKF interview and you explained it well. Especially the journey to this point. The fact you’ve done three albums to gethere. Like you knew the journey was going to be a scenic route to it with authenticity. Did you always know they were a trilogy?
Toronto Is Broken: Yeah. I didn’t know what form they’d take but when I sat down to write Section 9 I already had these titles in my head and knew which direction I wanted to go. When I made the metal and D&B work together with Paragons, then Gunfingers came quickly after, I was swarmed with inspiration and possibility.
I think before Clare people knew Toronto Is Broken as that guy who did that Arcadia song. Then Toronto Is Broken was that guy who was signed to Viper and has a silly name. But now when people think of Toronto Is Broken hopefully they think of a guy who mixes drum & bass and metal together and you know what to expect. It took me 10 years to work out my sound and what my niche.
What a journey!
Toronto Is Broken: I had to go back to my original inspirations a bit. The first drum & bass song I ever really loved was Spor’s remix of Qemists and going back to inspirations like that has been a big part of the journey. It’s why this next album feels like my second album in a way. With Clare I found my groove and could see it working. Now it’s like ‘okay where can I take this now?’ It took much longer to write and I think my own expectation of myself, and the expectation of people who follow me and are into what I do, have also had an impact on that.
Is it fully written now or is it still very much in the organic state and could still be added to or change?
Toronto Is Broken: I’ve got two more to fully write but apart from that it’s bits like getting guitars tracked in the studio and things like that. It’s around 70-80% finished. Until I get to the mixdowns then we’re back at square one!
Sebotage: I’ll get a message like ‘right, the mix is off, we’re re-doing this’.
Toronto Is Broken: I’ll always remember the first single which is coming out in March. We got some feedback from the label about the mix. They didn’t mention the vocal but I asked Rhi – who’s Reebz my other vocalist – to re-record her vocal. She’s amazing and she did them overnight and smashed it. When I got back to the label they said ‘no the vocals are great, they didn’t need any work!’ But I’m glad we re-did it because it’s even better.
There’s some great consistency having just two vocalists on the album – Sebotage and Reebz. That was intentional, right?
Toronto Is Broken: Definitely. We wanted to move into that metal sphere more because it’s a totally different ecosystem to drum & bass. One big difference is that drum & bass is focused on the producer with a featured vocalist. But producer means something very different in metal and in that culture people are much more used to consistency when it comes to vocalists. More like a traditional band set-up. So I wanted to work with Seb and was lucky to be introduced to Reebz through Zardonic.
She’s UK-based which was important for me because we have the option to do live performances and tour in the future. But yeah, it’s been great working with both of them. We get together for writing sessions or have zoom sessions and feedback on each other’s ideas. That’s been really inspiring for me. Traditionally I would send a track to a vocalist with a bit of an idea for direction or brief, they send back an idea, there’s a bit of back and forth and it’s done. But in this way it’s more like a blank Ableton project and we’re jamming and sharing ideas, it’s much more like a traditional band.
Brilliant. A whole new way of writing for all of you!
Sebotage: Definitely. It’s a very different approach for me. It’s a lot harder. I enjoy having a beat sent to me with a brief or a vibe or theme or direction. This is much more of a challenge but it’s so much more of a buzz when we do come up with something.
Toronto Is Broken: We’ve had sessions where we’ve not really come up with much but then you’ve come up with an idea on the way home or later on in the day.
Sebotage: One tune in particular I left your place feeling really gutted. I’d travelled up on the train, we’d come up with nothing and then on the train back and I came up with an idea and it was like, ‘Oh shit! This is something!’ Just eight bars but that eventually led to the tune.
Toronto Is Broken: That tune is an ID in the mix. What’s funny is that we’ve got a group chat with me, Seb, Reebz and my manager. I dropped it in the group chat and Rhi downloaded it, and added to it.
Sebotage: It was a real hijack! But her verse was so damn good so I was blown away.
Toronto Is Broken: And that’s what this is all about really. That type of creativity, fusion and energy. I can’t wait for people to hear more and the mix is a great place to start…
1. Toronto Is Broken – Paragons (Zardonic Remix) 2. Spiritbox – Holy Roller (Toronto Is Broken Remix) 3. The Qemists – Stompbox 4. Pendulum – Blood Sugar (The Prototypes Remix) 5. A-CRAZE – Do It to It (Sub Focus Remix) 6. Jack Mirror x Kove – Placebo 7. Toronto Is Broken x Aktive – Run Underwater 8. Toronto Is Broken – Radiation 9. Camo & Krooked – Feel Your Pulse (Mind Vortex Remix) 10. Noisia – Deception 11. Benni Benassi – Satisfaction (MYKOOL Bootleg) 12. Celldweller – Blind Lead The Blind (Toronto Is Broken Bootleg) 13. Deadmau5 – Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff (Sub Focus Remix) 14. Aktive – Higher 15. Lateral – BACKHOME 16. Ad Gannon – Bad Trip 17. Jon Hopkins – Breathe This Air (Toronto Is Broken Bootleg) 18. MYKOOL – Step Back 19. Toronto Is Broken – The Freefall 20. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up (Sub Focus Remix) 21. Camo & Krooked – Get Funky VIP 22. Toronto Is Broken – Reminisce (Matt Neux Remix) 23. Culture Shock – Steam Machine 24. Toronto Is Broken – LV-426 25. Joe Ford – The Moment 26. Toronto Is Broken – ID 27. DC Breaks – Gambino 28. The Prodigy – Voodoo People (Pendulum Remix) 29. Beastie Boys – Sabotage (Grafix Bootleg) 30. Toronto Is Broken – Reminisce 31. Toronto Is Broken – ID 32. SOPHIE – Ponyboy (Toronto Is Broken Bootleg) 33. Toronto Is Broken – Cut Into Me (Zeal Remix) 34. Commix – I Have You 35. Battletek – Momentum 36. Brookes Brothers – Tear You Down 37. Thornhill – Human (Toronto Is Broken Remix) 38. Russo – Bad Tonight (ShockOne Remix) 39. Toronto Is Broken – ENERGY (L Plus Remix) 40. Ad Gannon – Rapture 41. Daida – Manoeuvre 42. Toronto Is Broken – ID 43. Toronto Is Broken – Underground 44. Toronto Is Broken – ID 45. Toronto Is Broken – Circle 46. Volition x Noise Boys – That Grind 47. Toronto Is Broken – Between Planes (Lateral Remix) 48. Sub Focus – Rock It 49. Toronto Is Broken – The Moment (Corrupted Mind Remix) 50. The Prototypes – Enter The Warrior (Toronto Is Broken Remix) 51. Toronto Is Broken – Navigate 52. Bad Company – The Pulse (The Prototypes Remix) 53. Toronto Is Broken – Paragons 54. Against Odds – Detonate 55. Mojay – Back Again Dub (Aktive Remix) 56. Enter Shikari – Sssnakepit (Toronto Is Broken Bootleg) 57. ID – ID (Toronto Is Broken Remix) 58. Prolix x Biometrix – Addicted To The Game 59. Metrix x Grafix – Parallel 60. Toronto Is Broken – We Are 61. Delta Heavy – Space Time 62. Sub Focus – Stomp (Soldat Remix) 63. Toronto Is Broken x Aktive – Letters Goodbye (MV Remix) 64. Georgie Riot – Felony 65. Coastal – Don’t Want Your Love (MYKOOL Remix) 66. Lateral x Aleya Mae – ID 67. Grafix – Watch The Sky 68. Wilkinson – Tonight 69. Toronto Is Broken – Clairvoyant (MYKOOL Remix) 70. Toronto Is Broken – The Moment (Instrumental) 71. Fight The Fade – Composure (Toronto Is Broken Remix) 72. Grafix x Ruth Royall – Refuge 73. Emalkay – The World (Teebee Remix) 74. Toronto Is Broken – Interlude III 75. Kenji Kawai – Making Of Cyborg (Justin Hawkes Bootleg) 76. Toronto Is Broken – Gunfingers 77. ShockOne – Polygon VIP 78. Toronto Is Broken – Penitent (Wash Away) 79. Vautour – Knives & Bandanas (Toronto Is Broken Remix) 80. Original Sin – Therapy 81. Rusko – Cockney Thug (Bassweight Collective Bootleg) 82. Bring Me The Horizon – Kingslayer (Toronto Is Broken Bootleg) 83. Linkin Park – One Step Closer (Transforma Bootleg) 84. Justin Hawkes – Arbiter
Power your creative ideas with pixel-perfect design and cutting-edge technology. Create your beautiful website with Zeen now.