Episode 101: Breakbeats Of A Feather w/ Wade Wilby

In Episode 101 we’re joined by a fantastic DJ and massive music collector, Wade Wilby for a lively discussion on the drumming of Jon Fishman, the larger breakbeat history & culture, and how Phish has incorporated breakbeats into their sound. According to Wikipedia, “The most likely origin of the word “breakbeat” is the fact that the drum loops that were sampled occurred during a “break” in the music, as in the Amen break, which is a drum solo from “Amen, Brother” by The Winstons. However, it is a common thought that the name derives from the beat being “broken” and unpredictable compared to other percussive styles, something which is also reflected in the name of the related genre broken beat. Whether this was part of the original meaning of the word or is purely a folk etymology remains unclear, but it is safe to say that the term has evolved to encompass both sentiments.” 


Beginning with the most notable Phish breakbeat track, “Birds Of A Feather,” we examine the band’s usage of this technique before diving into the history of breakbeat culture & its impact on popular music. Wade is a fantastic host who guides us through a world we’ve loosely touched on on BTP, but never fully dived into. 


Songs featured in this episode are:

Phish: “Brother” — 10/23/1996, “McGrupp & The Watchful Horsemasters” — 12/29/1995, “Buried Alive” — 07/29/1998, “Limb By Limb” — 07/31/1997, “Birds Of A Feather” (Studio), “Fuego” — 10/30/2016, “Chalk Dust Torture” — 08/31/2013, “Rock & Roll” — 08/05/2011, “Ghost” — 07/01/2012, “Crosseyed & Painless” — 06/23/2019, “Ghost” — 08/31/2019

A Tribe Called Quest: “We Got The Jazz”

The Winstons: “Amen, Brother”

London Elektricity: “Final View From The Rooftops”

Tiger & Woods: “Come Down”

Secret Machines: “First Wave Intact”

The Comet Is Coming: “The Softness Of The Present”

Aphex Twin: “Flim”

Roni Size: “Brown Paper Bag”

The Chemical Brothers: “In Dust We Trust”

Roni Size & Reprazent: “Share The Fall”


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We encourage all BTP Listeners to check out THE RAVINE on OSIRIS Media as well as The Vinyl Emergency.


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