The BC One is the biggest one-on-one breakdance competition on the planet with dancers from United States to Japan battling it out in the hope of becoming champion. Each year these competitors bring a new bag of tricks and continue to innovate within the circuit. For the 2017 edition, the challenge was to innovate beyond the stage, creating a soundtrack that both paid homage to an underground subculture that’s existed since the 1970s while introducing the scene to new audiences.
They invited Los Angeles pioneering rap architect Alchemist, and Montreal modern day electronic vanguardist Lunice, to team up on an original score for the 2017 World Finals. Both producers are no strangers to B-boy culture; the Red Bull Music Academy alumnus (and one half of TNGHT with Hudson Mohawke) got his start doing graffiti and dancing competitively for a local crew, while the veteran beatmaker (best known for his work with Mobb Deep, Nas, Eminem, Action Bronson, and many more) was nicknamed “Crooked Robo Cop” in the 90s because of his aggressive floor moves. Despite the two having never collaborated before, they were mutual fans of each other’s music, and with creative involvement from Patta (including Patta Soundsystem DJ Vic Crezée) set out to create a project that would build a bridge between hip-hop and breakdancing enthusiasts past and present. Banner
Recorded across three studios in LA, London, and Amsterdam, the resulting EP Moving Parts—out now digitally and on limited edition vinyl via Red Bull, Patta, and taste-making label LuckyMe (who recently released Lunice’s excellent debut album CCCLX)—achieves just that. The eight high-octane instrumental tracks feel more like Blade Runner than Wild Style, seamlessly fusing ominous synth loops, breakneck percusssion, and subtly deployed left field samples like cheering crowds (“Loading”) and street traffic (“Mechanical Error”). While its designed first and foremost to accompany show-stopping headspins and windmills, there’s something for everybody, whether it be the swirling piano melodies on “Vibration” or the Chicago footwork-influenced breakdown on “Pathwave.”
“We've both established our production side of things, where we make the music and then release it and play it out,” says Lunice. “Now it's like going back to our roots, the B-boy and aggressive dance stage of things, and coming with what we already have, which is our festival/club fan base. I think naturally it'll bridge between the two because we already have that process in mind as we make our music.” The two producers also worked with RBMA alumni including drummer Yussef Dayes and keyboardist Niels Broos to help bring their ideas to fruition. “I’m really feeding off the energy of what they’re doing,” explains Alchemist. “It’s always magic, because what they do usually surpasses my expectations.”
“I'm pretty sure we're going to give them enough ammunition that B-boys are going to start losing their shit and start bouncing off the walls as soon as they hear this,” predicts Alchemist. “They're going to think of new moves. They might have to re-think their presentation in their routines when they hear the beats.”