Andy Pain (Vandal Recs) – Interview & Guestmix
Whoever coined the term “Jack of all trades, master of none” had clearly never come across Andy Pain.  Something of a drum and bass chameleon, Andy Pain’s reputation for being one of the most diverse producers in the scene has reached new heights since his previous releases ‘Take It ‘ on seminal experimental label ‘Diffrent Music’ and his most recent output ‘Fck Dem/Gas’ on Vandal Records.
With the ability to turn his hand to anything, Andy Pain gained a fearsome reputation when he and fellow Russian producer Z Connection had their second release ‘Outsider/Persistence of Memory’ on Demand Records in 2013.  Since then, Andy has gone on to have many successful releases including Magnetron on IM:LTD, Dive Ruv/The Wicker Man on Interactive and now ‘Fck Dem/Gas’ on SKS and Red Eyes label Vandal Records.

After demonstrating his militant side I couldn’t resist catching up with Andy to see what’s been going on.  Here’s what he had to say . . .

Hey Andy, thanks for joining us on In-Reach today!  Can I start by giving you a huge big up for your latest release ‘Fck Dem/Gas’ on Vandal Records, I’ve hardly stopped playing it.  You must be really happy with the support you’ve received!?

Hi there and thanks for the nice words about my single.  Yes, I’m really happy about releasing this single.  I like working with Vandal Recs and feel satisfied with the support I get.

For me, I think the first time I came across your music was in 2013 when yourself and Z Connection released ‘Outsider’ (a tune I still can’t get enough of today!).  Since then you seem to have successfully dabbled in all kinds of drum and bass sub genres, from dark rollers to experimental to tech/neurofunk.  Does switching up styles help you to keep focussed or is it a representation of what’s inspiring you at that time?

Ha, as you recalled ‘Outsider’ i’d like to note that this is the best tune of mine (without taking into account ‘Dive ruv’).   At that time (2011-2013) we worked almost every day with Z Connection and we were so inspired with dnb that tried to cover a lot of sides of dnb.   The first LP ‘Nothing personal’ was collected of deep minimal tunes with jungly/tribal moods, but our debut vinyl LP ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ consists of tunes with another character, it is dancy, techy, with a lot of complex basslines and drum patterns, but melodic with soul vocals.  Returning for the question, I think it was a representation of what we liked at the moment, what inspired us.

Speaking of your techy/neurofunk side, both ‘Fck Dem’ and ‘Gas’ are both incredible examples. I love the ferocity of Fck Dem and the complexity of Gas.  Was it always your intention to create a track or two that deviate from the standard, steppy drum and bass beat or was it something that came naturally throughout the production process?

As I started working as solo alias it was a long period of creative crisis.  First release of solo ‘Andy Pain’ was ‘Take it’ on Diffrent Music one year ago, and then I got no ideas to make tunes, but it was a strong desire to return to duty.  So I just started making something new.  Appeared an inspiration.  I made ‘Fck Dem’ in about 2-3 days, it is really a small amount of time to make a good tune.  So it came naturally and even surprisingly.

Alongside Outsider, Magnetron, and pretty much every other tune you’ve ever released, I think one of my favourites has to be ‘Dive Ruv’.  This track has so much energy behind it, it must have been great fun to work on in the studio!?

This is the second big tune after ‘Outsider’.  It was released on vinyl so i’m very proud of it.  We’ve got support from Getz & Nuage for this tune.  To be honest first versions of ‘Dive ruv’ was without vocal sample, there was an idea to make strong, tight deep tune, but I just tried to add something original, and here we go, we got an original, minimal-juky-funky-techy-tight dnb steppa 🙂

Now concentrating on you as a producer, I remember being quite surprised when I realised that you’re actually a bit younger than the tone of your music would suggest.  Has making music been a life long passion for you or did it all begin experimenting with drum and bass?

I discovered dnb music a long time ago, since I got my first  mp3-player.  I was listening compilations of Russian DJ Gvozd and other dnb that can be bought on CD at the date.  Then I realised that I want to make this kind of music too.  Time after time I met Z Connection and we started to work together.  It was 2009-2010 when we began to take the first steps (first sketches, contacts, support etc).

I mentioned earlier your sense of diversity as a producer, do you often experiment with other genres or do you absorb inspiration from other areas and apply them solely within drum and bass?

At first it was was extremely dnb production, and ideas was taken just from dnb music.  We have been experimenting with other styles, but the results did not succeed.  As I started working solo, I realised I can make everything I want.  In this way I made ‘Take it’, it is absolutely not dnb, but it still 170bpm.  I tell you a secret, now I’m seriously focused on techno music and got a lot of ideas for this kind music.  Soon I will start new project with my mates, watch out for announcements!  Also plans to release a relatively old dnb tracks on Demand and Interactive, I hope.

With so many successful releases under your belt, if you could give one piece of advice to any young producers out there, what would it be?

There are too many labels, music, artists, and it is very difficult to find something original in all this amount of stuff.  So try to bring something special to the music, this is very important.  In my experience want to tell you, that you need to knock out with quality, not quantity.

So who’s music is killing it for you at the moment? Who should we be watching out for?

labels – Lobster theremin, ТРИП, Berceuse heroique, SMG (samurai music group), Fabriclive and more…

Artists – Nina kraviz, Aphex twin, Jimmy edgar, Emika, Burial…

dnb – oldskul: Ill Skillz, stakka & skynet, ed rush & optical, Octane & Dlr…

Thanks for joining us today Andy! Just before we go, any shout outs?

Shouts to Лёша Поляков, Грач Duo, Игорь ZC, Игорь Nfusion, All Vandal Crew, Carlos from Demand, Dexta Diffrent, Taneli and Tommy, and a lot more! Thanks!

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