Q+A: 5 minutes with Pig&Dan

The formation of Pig&Dan is a story almost as iconic as the duo themselves. That they should cross paths again by way of a mutual friend, two years after meeting on a flight, is truly fate. That they should happen to have alchemical musical synergy, well that’s magic. Together, they’ve put out an impressive catalogue that has established them as tastemakers in the fields of techno and tech-house. But there’s more to Pig&Dan than just massive beats and ethereal, melodic hooks. They both share a passion for sounds outside the scope of techno, a mutual love for and fascination with the languid, trippy aesthetics of dub. Their 2014 album Destination Unknown was a testament to this passion, albeit career risk that ultimately paid off. A pivot away from their established club-ready sound, Destination Unknown showed a different side to the multifaceted duo that quickly garnered praise. Now, almost a decade later, they’ve followed up the project with a sequel; Destination Unknown II, out now via Bedrock Records. Galvanised by sublime vocals and exquisite production values, the album’s rich sonic tapestry is a compelling and thought-provoking study of life’s own soundtrack; capable of soothing, exciting and invigorating in equal measure.  We caught up with Dan & Igor to find out more about their shared love of dub and the new album. 


Pig&Dan, welcome to The Playground! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us.



Set the tone for us. Why the music?

Because as a race we would collapse if we didn’t have it to support us through the bad and enhance the good. We relate memories to pieces of music and for us it’s the core of our existence, it runs in the blood.


How did the two of you connect, and when did you realise you had the chemistry to make music together?

We connected 22 years ago but celebrate our 20th music-making anniversary this year. We met on a plane briefly and a couple of years later were re-introduced through a mutual friend. We then knew it was fate and we had to try something together creatively. When we did it clicked and we knew we had musical synergy, which is rare. 


How did you react to the response to your album, Destination Unknown? That album was a departure from what people had come to expect from your sound.

Even though we are known for spreading our musical wings and staying away from just a linear line of genre, it was overwhelming how much people warmed to the concept of us going that far off the beaten track. 


Eight years later, you’re following it up with Destination Unknown II. How have you evolved as artists between 2014 and now?

Absolutely, we learn everyday and I think it’s apparent that this is another study on how far we can push our musical boundaries. We challenged ourselves to take another angle of our roots which features a more dub style edge.


Destination Unknown II promises to return to the downtempo dub and trip-hop of its predecessor. For those most familiar with your work in techno, could you talk to us a bit about these influences and where they come from?

Well speaking for myself (Dan) I’ve always been a hardcore Dub fan due to the fact back in the days when I worked on a stall in Camden market (London). I was beside “Horace” the famous 7” vinyl guru who blasted his incredible dub collections all day long. We enjoyed each other’s passion for music and herb. This in turn rubbed off on me and I held a lifelong love for anything with a good bassline and groove in it. 


You’ve mentioned that you enjoy the challenge of creating music without the boundaries of genre. Do you find that your ‘non-techno’ influences actually inform the techno you make? 

Of course, with my (Dan) D&B background it was clear that Pig & I wanted to merge the sound of Techno with influences of D&B and of course the Balearic sound from Igor’s roots as well. We are experimentalists at heart and we just go where the music takes us. We never set out to write a particular type of track. 


Do you have a favourite track on the new album, and if so why?

For me (Dan) it’s “Way Down” because of its authenticity. For some reason it just gets under my skin and grooves in a way that I was always hoping to achieve as an artist. 


Download and stream Destination Unknown II here


Did the experience of the pandemic and lockdown change your outlook as artists, or change the way you approach making work?

Not at all but it did give us more studio time and as we are prolific writers. We actually wrote so much that there’s probably over a hundred incomplete tracks waiting to be taken through the final processes.


Have you guys been performing again, post-lockdown?

Yes we’ve been back on the road in Europe, Canada, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Australia and India so far and have a pretty full schedule up until the end of 22. It feels incredible to connect with people through music again. A bond that was greatly missed.


Tell us about your connection with your fans. What does Pig&Dan live look and feel like?

Well I think if you see us perform you know we are in this for all the right reasons. We are ravers at heart and we truly connect with what we do and strive to feel where the crowd wants to go. Because we are diverse in that we can play our music that’s right across the board we are able to adjust our sets accordingly to move with the audiences together. Well that’s our sim anyways. Unity and Euphoria are what we are all about. 


Who’s on your current playlist, and who should we be listening to right now?

Without sounding pathetic we are too busy producing to spend too much time listening to music. Sometimes on tour I love a good old school hip hop session or to get into Soul and 70s rock. 


Dream collaboration?

Well we’ve done a few we are super proud of like Underworld, Adam Beyer and Monika Kruse but I still romance the idea of working with some who have sadly left us, like Jim Morrison or Marvin Gaye. 


If you had the power to turn back time and write any song in the world, which one would it be and why?

“Rocket man” by Elton John. It’s just a timeless record that is sort of sad yet uplifting all at once. Something that’s so hard to create an emotional sonic playground. 

“Comfortably numb” by Pink Floyd. The depth of this record is insane, and that solo which was mastered by Dave Gilmore (a very close friend of my fathers) who ironically always stated that he sees himself as a very basic player,  but ufff does he hit the spot on the track. 

“Castles Made of Sand” by Jimi Hendrix. What can be said here, it’s hugely dynamic and delicate all that the same time. Goosebumps start to finish. 

“Long road” by Funky Porcini. The ultimate trip hop anthem for me. So incredibly timeless and pulls you in from start to finish. Spooky and groovy as f*ck

I could write book on songs I wish I wrote from artists such as: The Beatles, Stevie wonder, Sly and the family stone, Coldplay, Public Enemy, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor , The Doors, Bob Marley, Oasis AWB, Chaka Kahn, Amy Winehouse, Led zeppelin, James Brown, Prince, Dead Prez… 


Listen to a mini-mix of Destination Unkown II below.

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