Podcast number 33 is recorded by Pig & Dan; two appreciated personalities in the global electronic music scene. Igor Tchkotoua (Pig) and Dan Duncan (Dan) met each other on a flight to Spain in 1999. This unplanned meeting of like-minded personalities emerged in a flourishing collaboration which still proofs to be fruitful to this date.
Pig & Dan released, like every year, some powerful stuff on labels such as Cocoon and Terminal M and they had the opportunity to remix Inner City’s all time classic ‘Good Life. Besides their own releases, Pig & Dan run the Elevate Label and released tracks from Patch Park, MiniCoolBoyz, Broombeck and Felix Krocher.
In 2012 Pig & Dan released their fourth studio album called ‘Decade’, celebrated five Beatport tot tens and sixteen top hundred releases, a result of the immense amount of hours both guys spend in the studio.
Pig and Dan recorded a podcast for House Cult and we had a chat with Pig & Dan to ask them some questions about their collaboration.
Can you explain how you guys set yourself up on a day-to-day basis?
Well, believe it or not, it’s pretty practical! We get up around 9 in the morning, have breakfast, visit the gym for an hour, get to the studio and start producing music or we deal with tons of emails, regarding requests and promos. There’s also the time dedicated to interviews, making podcasts and running the social media networks. This pretty much keeps us busy till 6 o’clock in the afternoon. Having a music career is like running a company; it’s not only about producing music or playing at events, but also a lot of other work that has to be done during the week that people don’t really see.
What is your musical background and how did you get in touch with electronic music?
Dan comes from a musical family, so music has always run through his veins since a very young age. His dad is a sax player who plays some amazing soulful music. My background isn’t as musical, but my mother was always very passionate about music, and I guess that swept off to me, I always loved singing along to Michael Jackson on the way to school when I used to hear him on the radio.
We’ve both loved many different genres of music; rock, soul, funk, hip-hop and we believe that music is good or not so good, we don’t classify it by genre; we classify it by quality. I got in touch with electronic music through clubbing at a very young age. In Mallorca, there was just one club with artists playing old school techno like Westbam. We were always there with the same 20 people listening to techno at 5 am in the morning because not too many people understood that music at that time. I was a clubber before I became a DJ and music producer and from the first moment I heard electronic music I was hooked.
What meaning has electronic music to you and what kind of influence has electronic music had to your life?
For us, music is a necessity in our life, you could say it’s like a girlfriend that never lets you down and that always will be there for you. When we haven’t been creative for a while, we actually start feeling a bit of emptiness. It’s a way for us to express our feelings, an outlet to deal with our frustrations or feelings, you feel like a proud parent when you’ve produced an amazing track. There is also the wonderful feeling of playing a track for the first time and watching a crowd react to it. It’s a great feeling.
You guys are both working in the electronic music scene for years. Has the electronic scene changed due to commerce and exploitation? Do you guys encourage the commercialization of electronic dance music?
I don’t think that helping people become aware and, therefore, open to a more underground sound is a bad thing at all. For me, (Dan) I see it as a chance to let people who wouldn’t give our genre a listen a new opportunity to open doors.
How is it to work for over 10 years together? Do you ever have creative struggles or disagreements? And how do you keep each other motivated and keen to improve?
Working for over 10 years together has been a great experience with ups and downs of course, like any relationship with another human being. But since the first moment we met, we had that chemistry in the studio, without that chemistry there is no way we would have lasted that long.
At the beginning, we used to have many disagreements and little ego battles, but with time we have learnt how to take constructive criticism and become much more patient and tolerant. Like I said, it’s been a learning experience that we can use in other aspects of our lives and with other people.
We both have a perfectionist nature and are quite ambitious, so it’s not hard to keep ourselves motivated. We have what I would call a very healthy competitiveness, we are always trying to impress each other with cooler sounds. There are moments where one of us is less inspired than the other, but that’s the great thing about a collaboration, there is always someone to motivate you rather than you have to motivate yourself all the time.
From which artist do you find inspiration nowadays or can you introduce us with new talent that really needs some appreciation?
There are so many great artists out there which makes it hard to choose! In the early days, Sven Väth was a huge inspiration for us; his legendary long sets are like taking a trip to another dimension, the music he plays has always been extremely dynamic and listening to him is like going on a roller coaster ride.
Nowadays, there are loads of great new producers out there. We are really into this new sounding, very stripped, old school techno, produced by people such as Truncate, Skudge or Psyk, very groovy techno but with a great organic sound.
What is the oddest experience you’ve had in 10 years of traveling to gigs and festivals?
Probably, being greeted by 30 armed policemen at Tokyo airport. However, that’s another long story in itself
Do you both intend to collaborate for another 10 years? Is age an obstacle or hurdle in this scene?
As far as I know, Pig &Dan will still be here in 10 years, unless there’s a natural disaster or some serious health problems which get in the way. As I said before, music is our life, our passion and our necessity and it isn’t going anywhere. Maybe we will produce different music in 10 years; we always wanted to produce music for movies, so that could be another project in the future. You never know where you end up in life, so fingers crossed everything will be all right.
Can you tell us something about upcoming projects, releases or events?
Well, we have a load of residencies set up for ELEVATE worldwide. The first one is in September at EGG in London, we’re very proud to have been given the chance to push the sound we truly believe in. Also, we are celebrating the 100th release on both the Cocoon and Terminal M labels with releases from us being featured, not to mention that at the end of this month you’ll be seeing a remix of the much respected anthem GOOD LIFE to celebrate its 25th anniversary.