Break Science: Steering Hip-Hop and Jamtronica into New Horizons on ‘Mecha Flora’

In a world continuously constructed of AI chatbots and artificial “paintings,” it seems like art is humanity’s last stronghold against the eventual Rise of the Robots — and even then, visual art has recently been soured by a peculiar robotic flair. Thankfully, music has (so far) remained mostly human. But, technology does not have to be at war with creativity; technology can be a vehicle for sonic innovation, as long as the right hands are on the wheel. The new Mecha Flora EP from Denver-based duo, Break Science, proves that Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee are the perfect drivers to steer hip-hop and jamtronica into new horizons.

“I just hope we’re trailblazers in music,” Adam Deitch, one-half of Break Science and founding member of acclaimed jam band, Lettuce, said about the legacy of Break Science. Although to be fair, it seems like both Deitch and Borahm Lee, the other half of Break Science and long-time member of Pretty Lights, have been trailblazers in music since their youth. It all started with hip-hop, a genre Lee refers to as “New York’s indigenous music.”

Break Science

Growing up in 1980s Brooklyn, Lee and Deitch experienced the early days of hip-hop culture firsthand. Back in those days, hip-hop hadn’t yet earned the massive respect and popularity it has today. In fact, according to Lee, “musicians and hip-hop were still very separate communities back then. We were fighting our way in.”

Collectively, Lee and Deitch put up one hell of a fight. They began working with first-generation hip-hop icons like KRS-1 and Wu-Tang Clan and eventually toured with Kanye West and Talib Kweli. That was almost 30 years ago, and Lee and Deitch have worked together ever since.

READ — Adam Deitch of Lettuce Talks Grammy Nominated ‘Elevate’ Before Fillmore Show

Although New York’s first-generation hip-hop community shaped the early stages of both Lee and Deitch’s careers, electronic music also influenced their creative upbringing. This rings especially true for Deitch, who described his father as “an electronic music freak” during the 1980s.

“When I was 12 years old, I remember going down to the basement, and the entire room would be filled with MIDI cables, samplers and synthesizers everywhere. You couldn’t even walk in this room because my dad was doing this MIDI TEK music project and he was sampling records. Instead of making music to put out, he was doing it for education, to teach kids about electronic music. Of course, that was way over his head in 1988. My dad is always ahead of his time with stuff like that.”

Break Science

So, with electronic music in his blood, Deitch eventually outgrew New York. He was looking for some new scenery and a less cut-throat music culture. After performing with Pretty Lights at Red Rocks in the early 2010s, he knew Denver was calling his name — literally.

“When I was doing shows with Pretty Lights, Derek (the creative mind behind Pretty Lights) would bring me out at Red Rocks and introduce me to the entire crowd of 10,000 people like ‘this is my boy Adam Deitch, y’all say, what’s up!’ Then, all of a sudden, Break Science had 10,000 new fans… there’s just something about the Denver crowd. These people really love live music.”

READ — Pretty Lights Brought the Heat for His 10-Year Red Rocks Anniversary

Shortly after Deitch moved to Denver, Lee followed, joining their manager and agent as Colorado residents. Years later, Lee and Deitch have become legends in the Colorado music scene; they’ve been together the entire way and have brought the spirit of hip-hop’s golden age along for the ride.

Break Science’s new Mecha Flora EP — a passion project born out of the pandemic which explores the intersection of electronic music production and live instrumentation through hip-hop aesthetics and funky jamtronica soundscapes — is a perfect example.Mecha Flora

Mecha Flora is a quiet deviation from 2018’s Grid of Souls, Break Science’s last full-length project. The new EP is a return to form for the duo, a rerooting of sorts, planted in familiar soil and fertilized with a potent global sound. During the COVID era, Break Science hit the reset button, as much of the world did, and discovered a newfound appreciation for art and kinship that influenced the dynamic sound of this new record.

Despite the troubling nature of those strange times, Lee insists that “in regards to Break Science and other musical projects, I definitely developed a newfound wonderment, inspiration, appreciation and even a new musical direction.”


For a while, Lee and Deitch weren’t sure they were ever going to tour again. It seems like most of the music industry felt that way. But eventually, live music found its way back to the world. It always does.

But before live music resurrected, Lee’s home studio became a safe haven for Break Science; it was a place where music could live on without the pressure of booking expensive studio time. Without the pressure of touring. Without the pressure of outside influences. It was a space for one thing, and one thing only: to create.

Break Science

And that’s exactly what they did. The duo, who have worked together for well over 20 years, found their flow and quickly laid the groundwork for Mecha Flora, a project that took them less than a week to write. Speaking on their creative chemistry, Deitch said, “when you put Lee and me in a room and give us our paints and our paintbrushes, something’s going to get painted.”

So, what are Break Science’s paintbrushes? Well, they’re instruments. But they’re also computer programs and production software — computer-generated sounds that exist solely in digital format. 

There’s an electronic undertone throughout Mecha Flora’s six tracks, especially on “The Callin,” an ambient synth bass piece with a healthy mix of astral electric chimes, gritty bass and live drums. Still, tracks like “Steady Within,” a dramatic hip-hop piece that briefly dissolves into downtempo, future funk, and the title track, “Mecha Flora,” a more traditional jamtronica vibe with slight lofi elements, have electronic details that play a key role in shaping the overall aura of the record.

If hip-hop is the cornerstone that keeps Break Science stable against the changing climate of the music industry, then electronic music is the stained glass window that gives an old property its modern appeal. It’s a colorful peek into the whimsical allure of fresh leather couches and marble countertops. Mecha Flora has all the upgrades.

That’s what Break Science’s new EP is all about — it’s a daring balancing act across an auricular tightrope between natural and artificial sounds, sown together with deep hip-hop influence, musical comradery and decades of shared creative vision.