Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic – Painkiller (Kunai Records)

The 10th release on Kunai Records finds label owners Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic back in the spotlight with a brand new single.

Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic - Painkiller

It’s been a productive year for the much loved trio. After an intensive and highly creative winter Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic have an impressive collection of new music in the pipeline. Sudbeat Music, Replug Records and Manual Music are just some of the labels Michael, Levan and Stiven can now call home. Their fans are certainly hungry for this influx of new material and to whet their appetite a brand new single for Kunai is now ready for the masses. ‘Painkiller’ comes with remixes from Andre Sobota, Solid Stone and Wes Straub. 

Michael, Levan and Stiven have long been noted for their versatility and ‘Painkiller’ finds them exploring a deep techno sensibility. Following a tough, percussive and deeply hypnotic beginning, waves of synths build to a boil and introduce a shimmering overlay of textural bliss. The dramatic tension continues all through the main break with the nearly two minute interlude showcasing one of this year’s most impactful climaxes. A piercing tone and escalating noise combine for an ultrasonic peak before a rush of beats and percussion take you further into the cosmos. Absolutely massive and surely one of Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic’s best works to date. 

The first interpretation of ‘Painkiller’ is provided by Andre Sobota who is making his first appearance on Kunai Records. The Brazilian producer is fresh of the release of his ‘Triangles’ EP which achieved the #1 spot in Beatport’s progressive house chart. Andre’s sound continues to be one of the most loved across the progressive house underground and he’s turned in an outstanding interpretation of ‘Painkiller’. The Brazilian’s slow burning grooves and haunting atmospherics make for an exhilarating first act and lead the track into an enchanting break. Syncopated beats set the stage for a gleaming wall of melody which descends from the heavens. It’s a magical moment which carries all the more impact with Andre’s tastefully, restrained drop. A beautiful remix from Andre.

The second interpretation of ‘Painkiller’ is provided by Solid Stone who is making his first appearance on Kunai Records. In addition to appearing on Armada Music, Coldharbour Recordings and Perfecto, Solid Stone is fresh off being selected as one of the winners in the Cid Inc & Darin Epsilon ‘Outliers’ remix competition, and also just helped launch Max Graham’s new Cycles imprint with a remix of ‘Redemption’ by the man himself. That great momentum continues here with a borderless production that fuses elements of techno and progressive with an effortless flair. Punishing beats anchor the subterranean groove while a flurry of effects tantalizes the senses. A well crafted break brings the journey to an exhilarating peak with a long dramatic build eventually revealing a strong rhythmic motif which takes you home. Outstanding production from Solid Stone.

The third and final interpretation of ‘Painkiller’ is provided by Wes Straub who is also making his first appearance on Kunai Records. Wes Straub has become one of Canada’s most sought after production and DJ talents. He’s headlined clubs across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico as well as the world famous island of Ibiza, Spain. A permanent staple in Calgary’s burgeoning nightlife Wes has had the honour of sharing the decks with Markus Schulz, Nick Warren, Jody Wisternoff, Max Graham and Laidback Luke. A pivotal moment in Wes’s production career came in 2013 when he was announced as the winner of the Markus Schulz & Ferry Corsten (New World Punx) remix competition. He has since gone on to appear on a variety of top imprints including John OO Fleming’s JOOF Recordings and Glenn Morrison’s Morrison Recordings. For his ‘Painkiller’ interpretation Wes has added his own unique flair to the track with several newfound melodic themes. The Canadian’s jangly hooks are irresistible and it’s driving groove carries a lovely cadence. Emotions heighten during the main break before the meaty groove returns for a thunderous moment and exhilarating conclusion. It rounds out another exceptional release on Kunai Records very strong. Don’t miss it.

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