Even with all the technology and connectivity we have today, it can be surprising that EDM, and specifically D&B, can permeate into some of the most remote areas of the world. Case in point: the Azores, a collection of nine volcanic islands located dead centrer of the nortern Atlantic, halfway between Newfoundland and Portugal. Considered part of Portugal as one of two autonomous regions (the other is Maderia), the Azores could be claimed by any country, really, because they’re not terribly close to anything, but Portugal seems to have managed to maintain a Puerto Rico-style agreement with the Azoreans since the 16th century so that’s good enough for us.
These little factoids above do little more than to underline just how extraordinary that someone like Impex, who is from the Azores, would even be into drum & bass, let alone getting attention from big banger labels like Eatbrain and Korsakov Music. This is all the more extraordinary when one considers Impex has only been releasing for three years. With tracks on Korsakov Music’s Future Stars Vol. 2 and Eatbrain’s recent Divergence IV compilation albums and one called “Epic” with Korsakov’s A&R organ grinder monkey AL/SO on US label Boomslang Recordings, Impex’s neuro/dancefloor bucket list is coming along nicely considering his first track released in late 2019 on fellow remote island Tenerife-based Histeria Records (what is there, a secret island D&B network we were heretofore unaware of?).
This Thursday, November 17 is yet another milestone for Impex: his first EP on a big label. It’s no surprise, as Korsakov once again was the first big box to notice Impex, but what is surprising is it’s his second EP in just over a month. His debut The Minute EP dropped in early in October on UK underground label Dirtbox Recordings and showcased his more neuro/experimental side while the upcoming How Low is slightly more dancefloor-forward for the Korsakov crew, so it makes sens why the two EPs have been separated thus. Nonetheless, it’s pretty impressive that Impex is producing so many tunes of such diversity in such a short period.
Getting into How Low itself since it is what we came here to talk about. When we say it’s only slightly more dancefloor than the work on The Minute, it really is by a small measure. the tracks here are still aggressive, crunchy and unabashedly neuro in terms of synths and sound design, but the underlying beats and breakdowns are just a little more roller-y and ravey, respectively. “The Choke,” for example, has an old school starburst beat to anchor the almost industrial, late 90s rave synths. “Give Them Hope” also has roller vibes keeping feet on the dancefloor as the overline production gets more and more complex, with a heavily ornamented, Beethoven-esque synth line. This track would have to be on the dancefloor, because that’s the only way anyone could deal with this level of hype.
How Low‘s title track is our YEDM premiere today and seems to be sort of the bridge between The Minute and this EP, as it’s almost as out there as the tracks on that previous EP. This makes it also a great bridge between neuro and dancefloor, as it’s fast and hyped but technically risky and full of snarling, evil breakdowns that experimental neuroheads will love. Think Current Value-meets-Gydra-meets-dancefloor: you can get low and stomp to “How Low,” but you can also join the chin-strokers in the back and marvel at the composition of this track. It might be Impex’s best track in terms of tech and balance thus far, and he’s only getting started.
Needless to say, Impex is one neuronerds and dancefloor delinquents will want to follow, starting about two years ago. If How Low and The Minute are the level he’s already achieving, the D&B world at large can expect even more of the unexpected to come from this upstsart artist, remotely dropping some of the dirtiest tracks ever from a remote island chain in the middle of the ocean.
How Low drops this Thursday, November 17 on Korsakov Music. Click here to pre-order or pre-save.
This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Your EDM Premiere: D&B in the Azores? Impex’s Volcanic Neuro-crunch [Kosrakov Music]