With the breaks scene steadily establishing itself in Chicago, Tolgar Alpagut can be seen growing alongside it. As the second member of Recess – a promotional team dedicated to throwing purely breaks parties – Tolgar’s passion for rhythm and movement shows through in every aspect of his life.
From an early age, Tolgar displayed a love for rhythm and anything with a pounding bassline. Born in Chicago, Tolgar grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, where his musical career began as a drummer in the marching band at school. His experimentation with music continued with the mandolin, the piano and then the guitar. The year after purchasing his guitar, 15 year old Tolgar formed Frantic – a rock band that performed throughout Chicago in the following four years.
Living in Chicago instilled an appreciation for house music and as raves became more prevalent, dance music became more prominent in Tolgar’s life. But it was not until he moved to Florida, after a stint in New York where he got heavily involved with all aspects of hip-hop as an MC, freestyle performer, and writer that he discovered his own niche in electronic music: funky breaks and jump-up jungle.
Traveling throughout Florida, from Ft. Myers to Tampa to Miami, Tolgar became exposed to artists like DJ Icey, Baby Anne, Huda Hudia, Rick West, DJ Trixie etc., and befriended many DJs along the way. Soon after, the desire to spin had him practicing on his friends’ equipment.
By age 23 (2000), Tolgar was back in Chicago practicing on turntables of his own, spinning all forms of breaks: from funky to nu-skool, as well as spinning drum ‘n’ bass, tech-step and jump-up jungle. Over time, as he observed that breaks’ deep basslines and big beats kept people constantly moving, he soon directed all of his attention to it.
Considered an obscure genre of dance music in Chicago, Tolgar and his friend and fellow DJ JohnEVolution decided to broaden its reach by launching Recess at Katacomb in the summer of 2002. Together with John and Marcel, Tolgar retained their monthly residency at Katacomb until Chris Gin and Localsound asked them to join their own weekly party Hard Candy at Big Wig (1551 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622) as a monthly breaks event.
“Tolgar Alpagut is one of Chicago’s rising turntable talents. As a recess resident at Big Wig, his breakbeat sets have floored the Chicago nightclub community at one of the city’s hottest spots – definitely a name to watch.” (Chris Gin – Hard Candy, Localized Chicago, Spundae Chicago)
Presently, when he is not working a full-time job and developing Recess, he is in the process of building a studio, producing dance music and tracks for hip hop/R&B artists, and continues to MC and freestyle whenever he can.