Andy Pain & Z Connection - "Outsider" (VIP) - (6:00) 172 BPM
Review: Demand has smashed 2016 with its "Selects" series. Giving both us and the artists a chance to explore their sound more, each EP has been a clear picture of what the artist is all about. Russian Andy Pain is no exception as he reveals a widescreen vision across five tracks: the stripped-back space jam stepper "Emptiness", the denser early Subtitles-style iciness of "2517", the futurist feels and deeper sonic vapour trails of "Mrak", the electro-neuro tightly sprung funk of "Magnetic Storm", the list goes on.
Review: From their base in St Petersburg, Andy Pain & Z-Connection have been crafting some of the most forward-thinking D&B of recent times, and this new split single for Diffrent shows their two very different sides. First up is Andy Pain with "Take It", an combination of abstracted, stuttering half-step and symphonic strings, a track whose cut-up vocals add a footwork edge to an otherwise emotive experience. Z-Connection's "Horizon" is a much more straightforward club weapon, pushing forward on a cloud of rapid breaks and revving bass. Absolutely essential stuff.
Andy Pain & Z Connection - "Textures" - (5:49) 140 BPM
Andy Pain & Z Connection - "Transition" - (5:15)
Andy Pain & Z Connection & Duo - "Murder" - (5:17)
Andy Pain and Z Connection - "Mind Map" (Duo & Dysphory remix) - (4:52)
Andy Pain - "Artifact" - (4:33)
Andy Pain - "U" - (5:40)
Z Connection - "Mambo Jambo" - (6:02)
Review: Ready for some submarine levels of sub-soaked deep D&B? Then say hello to new Russian duo Andy Pain & Z Connection. Barely bubbling for a year and already the duo have amassed a large enough repertoire to necessitate an album. Sitting somewhere between the icy experimentalia of Bop and the grunting mechanic minimal of Xtrah, each cut here shimmers with space and seemingly bottomless grooves. From the triplet stumbles and far-away vocal of "Textures" to the more snarling, shin-splinting Octane & DLR-style bass roller "Murder", this is a very impressive debut long player.
Review: Headhunting the best in weighty, after dark murkage, this EP combines some of the biggest names from the IM:Ltd roster and beyond, kicking off with label favourite Gunston, whose devastating basslines and minimal stylings could sink battleships. Not that this is as dark as it gets though, with some seriously sinister sounds from Seereal, Andy Pain and Z Connection's"Wounds" following up on a bleak, minimal tip and heavyweight soldier Robustus bringing a huge stepper from the depths complete with B-movie soundtrack vibes. Giocator and Altitude round off the compilation with slick, agile productions showcasing what this label is all about - quality, bass and severe dancefloor murderation. Avoid at your peril.