I'm personally not a huge fan of the quintessential 'gross' style of breakcore – that is, Shitmat, Igorr, DJ Skull Vomit, Bong Ra, etc. Dudebro breakcore, basically. Remniscient of dubstep, in terms of nastiness (I mean that in a bad way). I don't care if they're popular, they just don't resonate with me at all. I'm much fonder of the pensive and introspective styles, often sad, sometimes anxious, or sometimes very high-energy speedcore-esque crossover tracks, such as Slavik Goblins by goreshit: https://goreshit.bandcamp.com/track/slavik-goblins
But contrast the above track to something slower and more melancholy, such as Vida, which is the video I embedded with this post.
I feel as though the aforementioned style of, well, navel-gazing breakcore, helps convey more complex emotions, delving deep into the darkest reaches of the human psyche, whereas speedcore-focused stuff is just simple, raw energy. Engaging, yet one-dimensional. I'll occasionally blast out my eardrums to it, sure, but it's not my favorite. And it's really not indicative of what the genre is all about.
I'm also not that keen on the anime imagery that often comes with breakcore, but I guess it's just something that comes with the territory. Odaxelagnia, a Polish breakcore duo, churns out excellent tracker-based breakcore albums, though with questionable album art. Here's a great Odaxelagnia track that doesn't have a dodgy album cover: https://odaxelagnia.bandcamp.com/album/sour
4lung is another interesting up-and-coming Bandcamp/Patreon era breakcore artist (as opposed to old-school 2000s breakcore), with their defining fusion of multiple drum-centric genres, most notably trap and footwork – in addition to breakcore. The end result is a more palatable and danceable style that is more accessible than a lot of really harsh and impenetrable music deeper in the genre.
Another interesting multi-genre artist is CDR, one of the most prominent Japanese breakcore artists known for his unique acid breakcore: https://cdr1234.bandcamp.com/album/7-200
Some other Japanese breakcore artists worth mentioning include shako-pani, y=0t (https://othermanrecords.bandcamp.com/track/sink-into-nothingness
), and Umio.
Aside from individual artists, it's good to check out breakcore-related record labels, such as Stereo Records (https://stereorecords.bandcamp.com/
) and Planet Mu (https://planet.mu/
It's a shame that the genre has fallen out of style. Breakcore probably peaked in the mid-2000s, maybe around 2006-2008. However, independent music platforms such as Bandcamp have contributed to a quasi-revival of the seemingly-dead style of music. I would classify indie Bandcamp releases as the 2nd generation of breakcore. Venetian Snares, while historically significant, is culturally irrelevant these days. Hasn't exactly released a banger in a while. With the advent of mainstream EDM in the early 2010s, it became apparent that pop-sounding, easy-listening electronic music will win out over harsh, dark, and complex genres like breakcore. But there's still life in it, thanks to the democratization of social media. It's a niche, but a niche with a presence on multiple platforms that allow artists and listeners to enjoy their netlabel bedroom producer subculture together.
There are many more artists I could have listed, but this post is long enough as it is, so here are just a few more honorable mentions: Bethas, Autechre*, Death Grips*, Merzbow*, and Squarepusher*.
* Not breakcore but tangentially related, and if you like breakcore, you'll like their music too.
I wonder what the future of breakcore will be. Will it adapt, and if so, how? Can you really keep on making more music in a genre that's based off of a single drum sample? If it evolves over time, is it even breakcore anymore? There's a lot to unpack.
Overall, I think a good way to characterize breakcore is that it's often a genre you listen to in order to accentuate your emotions and really feel through them, as opposed to blithe, milquetoast music (such as pop or rock) that is only intended to sound good and make you think mundane thoughts, possibly for temporary escapism from the daily grind. The latter is for avoiding your darkest feelings, whereas the former helps you face them with introspection. Breakcore is often dark and makes you think and feel dark things. I think that's beautiful. It's a coping mechanism I employ when I'm feeling down.