909originals chats to Pig&Dan as they mark 20 years of production

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They may have two decades of music production behind them, but Pig&Dan are showing no signs of slowing down just yet.

Following on from the recent release of the downtempo Destination Unknown IIon Bedrock earlier this year, the duo (aka Dan Duncan and Igor Tchkotoua) have just unveiled 20 Years: Pig&Dan, a new album that is part retrospective – with the pair remixing a number of their old tracks – and forward-looking, with a number of fresh new cuts.

The album was released on 7 October on their own Elevate label, and can be purchased/streamed here.

909originals caught up with Pig&Dan, and started by asking them to reveal the secret of their musical longevity….

It’s a rather large milestone for us, that’s for sure! It’s very much about synergy and also being able to lower one’s ego. To share the creative process with anyone is a challenge at the best of times but we clicked and until this day the vibes are still there. We push each other to better ourselves.

The ‘20 Years: Pig&Dan’ album is somewhat autobiographical, in that you have revisited a number of your old tracks. What was that experience like, was there anything there that surprised you upon re-discovery?

Yes, certainly. You kind of move forwards constantly when you’re on the musical path throughout your career and often don’t look back. So, when revisiting the tracks from the past it’s really interesting to dissect them and see how and where we did it back then. It has probably influenced us when writing new tracks.

Did you have to do much to the old tracks to bring them ‘up to date’?

Some of them we completely restructured, and others we just updated them with a more ‘now’ sound due to the fact we didn’t want to effect the essence of what they were.

You first broke through with a progressive house-type sound, and we first became aware of you through your minimal techno work. Would it be fair to say that over the years you have kept exploring, experimenting, incorporating new sounds into your music?

Honestly, we’ve been very selfish and always created what we wanted to play in our sets at that time. I think it’s fair to say we’ve proved that we are not genre-dependent and tend to create music that we hope gets under others’ skin.

We are, in our eyes anyway, real deal. In that I mean we don’t follow trends, we just do what we do and really hope that translates across the board musically.

It’s been a busy summer for you with sets at both festivals and clubs around Europe, the US and further afield. Do you approach a festival set differently from a club set? You tend to have less time to work with for one thing…

We never plan anything when playing. We try to read crowds and feel where they want to go on the journey. I feel we are versatile enough to be able to adjust our direction accordingly. People often don’t understand that there’s a tonne of psychology involved in reading a crowd, whether that’s a club or festival crowd is very much up to that moment and how we all connect.

We really enjoyed your foray back into downtempo music with Destination Unknown II. As Pig&Dan moves into its third decade of production, do you see yourselves exploring the dubbier, more downtempo side to your repertoire?

We’re stoked you’re feeling it – we will for sure dive deeper into this realm. It’s very much part of our roots, so exploring it a huge passion for us.

Next month marks the tenth anniversary of your Elevate label as well. How has the label evolved over time? Are you positioning it differently now to when you started it?

The label was created to help bring attention to producers we felt were outstanding. The concept was to elevate people’s careers and become a stepping stone to what we hoped would be a massive part of their journey.

We have had multiple amazing artists being signed to Drumcode, for example, and this is what drove us. Since the pandemic, things had to change sadly, the reason being is that we paid every month for this label to exist out of our own pockets.

It was not a profitable venture, and because we had no income we had to put the brakes on and concentrate on our own music being released instead of supporting others. We simply couldn’t afford it. But who knows what the future holds..

We saw on your Facebook page a recent post about Space Ibiza, and the fact that you got to play at the last closing party ever. Was that the best venue you played in over the years and what was so special about it? Or is there another venue that springs to mind?

It was more about the nostalgia and the fact it’s a venue that holds such an important part of our scenes history. Because of us both going there as ravers and growing up to having the honour to play behind the decks, it’s something very close to hearts. This very much applies to many places globally, however Ibiza was always very close to us both.

For us, I think everywhere has something unique and special, but both Space and Amnesia for sure are some of the most important places we’ve been lucky enough to play over the years. They are institutions, not just clubs – they helped this scene grow to what it is today.

What’s next on the agenda for Pig&Dan?

We are glad to announce that we have lots on the horizon. Watch this space…

20 Years: Pig&Dan is out now via Elevate, click here for more information.

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