EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: 5 Minutes With… Pig&Dan
Techno powerhouses Pig&Dan have delighted audiences across the world with their sensitive take on the deep house and bass genres, playing prestigious festivals such as Ultra, Tomorrowland and Awakenings since the act’s inception in 1999. They are currently gearing up for a headline show at the Main Room at EGG London on February 25th.
The duo has an easily recognisable sound, mixing dark house elements with vibrant techno grooves and complex, layered programming to bring nuance and sophistication to their dancefloor-ready jams. Their latest EP, Chemistry, showcases the diversity of this techno duo’s palette, an anthem which is also a tantalising taste of what to expect from one of their famed live performances. Having once described their live sets as akin to “sexual experiences”, Pig&Dan possess that rare and elusive DJ talent: to always know how to gauge, manage and manipulate the euphoria of the crowd that’s in front of you.
We caught up with Igor Tchkotoua (Pig of Pig&Dan) to hear about the duo’s music inspirations, their “non-linear” style and their Zen take on good and bad gigs…
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
Great thanks, just relaxing as I’m still recovering from a long-haul flight I did from Cape Town.
For those who might be on their way to EGG London this weekend, but who haven’t heard Pig&Dan before, what would you tell them to expect from your sound?
I would say our sound is in the realm between deep house and techno…We like to think of our music as having different intensities, rather than belonging to different genres. I would say it is a combination of elements we love: we are very fortunate to make music we love, and that we have fun making…We love fat basses and generally our music is not too linear. I would say we like to tell stories in our tracks, and then combine them in our sessions to make journeys.
So who are the biggest influences on your sound?
Bands that have influenced us in our careers include Average White Band, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Sven Vath and Michael Jackson, to name just a few… There is so much quality music and so many quality bands out there.
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
In the techno world, we are really into artists like Stephan Hinz, DVS1, Truncate, Wehhba, H.O.S.H, Mark Reeves, but the list goes on…We love them because they all have their own personal sound, and they have a way of making music that is distinctive and sets them apart from producers that just use the same samples as everyone else.
— Fred Asquith (@fredasquith) February 28, 2016
Are there any key pieces of equipment that you use to define your sound?
I would say that it’s not about the equipment you use, it’s about the ideas you have in your head and the way you develop them…You could make a hit with a fork, a wooden spoon and some vocals if you have enough talent. We use Logic as a sequencer because it sounds great and it’s what we have used from the beginning. It’s also about the texture you give a sound by putting a special effect on it, or a special way of EQing the sound to make it yours.
Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
From everywhere and from nowhere, it just comes and goes. It’s like a divine gift from the gods that you have to make the best of when it comes; when it goes, you give yourself a break so it can come back. As with many artists, inspiration always seems to come out of hard times.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why? The worst?
There isn’t such thing as a ‘best’ or ‘worst’ gig for us: there are just great gigs and not-so-great gigs… A good gig means there is a crowd, the sound system sounds fat and the monitors in the DJ booth sound great and don’t destroy your ears. We tend to like bigger crowds so I could say that playing Ultra in Buenos Aires was one of those special, memorable gigs.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
I would have been a chef or a Formula 1 driver because those are my other passions. I believe you are successful in life when you do what you love, or pursue what you love.
If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, living or dead, who would it be?
I would say the Doors. I would have loved to see them in concert and I think that Jim Morrison would have loved electronic music…
Other than your show at EGG London this weekend, what else is on the horizon for Pig&Dan?
Well, we are super excited about our next Drumcode release with head honcho Adam Beyer – it has been a year in the making and some of the tracks have been remastered as much as eight times because we only want to deliver the best for the dancefloor. We also have a massive US tour coming in March, where we will hit most of the big American cities and, of course, WMC in Miami.
Check out some live footage of Pig&Dan burning it up at Club Kristal below: