The evolving duo have experimented on many levels of music that one can lose sight counting their archives. Igor Tchkotoua (Pig) & Dan Duncan have DJed to the masses, released productions by the dozens, partnered with top techno labels and created their own, ELEVATE, and are now in their most significant milestone: “Odyssey.” Odyssey is Pig&Dan’s new monthly event series, taking off at the world famous fabric in London as they unveil their new live show. Featuring different genres and a different musical lineups month-after-month, Pig&Dan reveals more about what’s to come. The duo stopped by San Diego’s CRSSD festival to play an afternoon set on its City Steps stage overlooking the Pacific’s waterfront.
Can you tell us how where you are today? You’re starting a live performance, do tell.
Odyssey was born pretty organically actually, it was the fruit of a good relationship with our friend Jacob Husley from the WetYourSelf! crew that have run their weekly Sunday party at fabric for the last decade. He basically asked us if we would be interested in having our own residency once a month in the legendary club and we didn't really have much to think about and went for it. We have been thinking of doing a live performance for many years because most of our DJ sets are kind of live as in that most of the music we play is only Pig&Dan tracks or ELEVATE, the thing was making that step and getting the right equipment to do so….
Fabric is of course one of the most reputable clubs in the world. Was this your first choice?
It would have always been our first choice but very luckily it was offered to us, which made us very happy and grateful to start this project in such a great venue. We can envision Odyssey happening all over the world and with time it will evolve organically and become better and better, like a good wine.
How do you choose your artists/concept for your projects? What’s the process?
Odyssey is about programming the right music at the right time. We feel like this is something that has been lost through time. We believe that nights should not be linear with just one type of music or genre playing all night, we believe that each genre has its moment in the night and a certain structure that makes the musical voyage much more dynamic and intense. We want to start with real warmup DJs playing real warm up sets at the right bpm. For example, around 116 to 120 to start, and as the night progresses it gets higher and the intensity of the music builds ending up around 128 to 130 as a peak time techno set. Therefore, the artists we invite to be a part of the event will be masters of their own genre and they will play their music at what we think is the right time of the night.
What do you predict will change or surprise you the most on your new projects?
We have no idea what is going to happen and we have no expectations, after more than 20 years in this industry that is one of the lessons we have learnt. What we do know, is that we’ll give it our best shot to give people the best musical experience we can and that will translate into an amazing loving vibe that will emanate from the crowd naturally.
How will your live shows differentiate from your DJ sets/touring? Have your DJ sets changed?
Our DJ sets always change as we never have anything planned and we are constantly making new music which gets added to them so there’s always a fresh element. At the moment we have around 30 unreleased tracks that we play, so people don’t realize we are playing our own music. The difference will be that people will know they are listening to fresh exclusive Pig&Dan music and there will be a more organic and a less predictable approach as Pig will be on vocals and drum machines and Dan will be playing live on synths….
How do you manage between your regular touring? What were some of the commitments and challenges you face?
Our job is always full on, it’s definitely not for the faint hearted, people think DJs just travel and play record on the weekends, but there is much more work to do than that, it’s a 7-day job. We are also very fortunate to have an amazing team around us which is integral to the Odyssey project, without them it would never happen. The most challenging thing has been to get artists on board the project, especially at the beginning, but as the project has become a reality we have had great feedback and response from them and our line-up is solid.
Being veterans in techno, how has the industry been impacted over the years? Taking into consideration social media and other challenges you face you once did not have.
Evolution and change are inevitable so you have two choices; either you adapt or you die (metaphorically speaking). But if we have to be honest, it feels like the electronic music industry is more about being famous or well-known on social media rather than about the music itself so the actual content being the quality of the music etc has gone down in general. There are still great DJs and producers out there but there is also more mediocrity and people are not recognized for their musical skills which in our eyes is quite sad. When we started DJing you needed to release good music on vinyl to become well known, these days it’s about having thousands and thousands of likes. Don’t get me wrong there are artists out there that have the likes and the quality but there are others that are there for the wrong reason. There are many Milly Vanillas these days in our industry….
What advice would you give to your young self-looking back?
Don’t overdo the partying and invest in social media as soon as it starts to exist!
What advice would you give to up and coming artists – DJ’s, producers, live acts – breaking into this industry?
Be yourself, be strong, believe in yourself and never give up. If you are going to party, do it in a responsible way or better yet, focus on music without any excess….