Pig&Dan are easily one of the planet’s most loved techno duos. Their label Elevate has become synonymous with quality banging techno, a go-to imprint for those looking to kickstart any dance floor. They are also one of Australia’s most popular international techno personalities. Dan Duncan is the Dan in Pig&Dan and he is currently in Australia for a comprehensive tour so we chatted with the veteran ahead of his upcoming show at Revolver this Sunday.
New Rhythms: How do you navigate your production process? Is it difficult collaborating as a duo? What would you say is your biggest strength working together?
Dan: We work in a couple different ways really. When we are sat on a plane side by side (our most common working environment) we find ourselves swapping Macs over the isle and work on what the other ones doing at that moment.
We also use Dropbox to sync both our computers allowing us to both have instant access to projects we are currently working on when not together such as now where Pigs touring Europe and I’m in Australia.
I’ll be honest, collaborating was hard at first because you truly have to put your artistic ego aside and be willing to compromise, a bit like when you’re in a relationship. Pig and I really share a special synergy and this is something extremely hard to find in a creative environment, and although we both have similar tastes we come from very different musical backgrounds, he’s definitely the chaos and I’m the more musically trained.
Our biggest strengths in working together is that we inspire each other constantly. We encourage each other to push our own envelope to the max and when one of us has a little bit of a critters block the others usually comes to save the day and get the creative juices flowing.
NR: You’ve played some pretty big international stages, Tomorrowland and Awakening to name a couple. Have you achieved it all now or is there still an event out there you would love to play at?
D: What can I say is that we are truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to achieve some of our biggest dreams by playing these incredible events. Saying that we are always striving to up our game, there’s buckets of other places we would love to play like Timewarp, and Berghain for example.
NR: You have quite an impressive collection of hardware, using some of the most important and iconic synthesisers in history. How do you feel about the shift toward the digital era? Do you use much software?
D: Quite simply it’s not what you’ve got, its what you do with it. That’s the bottom line we feel. I’ve seen people with nothing achieve far more than some of those with everything. I think the workflow in the digital era enables a much more continues vibe, and sometimes that’s what you need at the moment of inspiration.
NR: What do you look for in a track when considering work to release on your imprint label Elevate?
D: I think it’s all about it being unique and something that gets under our skin. Of course, hence the name, it has to be something that elevates you and holds some kind of energy. Something that we play in our sets.
NR: One piece of advice you’d give to yourselves 20 years ago?
D: Be patient !!!!
NR: You just released an EP on Drumcode, ‘Infinity’. Do you ever listen to your old works when producing new work, or do you leave your old work in the past?
D: We constantly play our productions both old and new, so I guess you can say we are always updating but also sometimes pulling out an oldie here and there. In the creative process we don’t reference our old music we just create freewill style and hope we are on the right track. We are very much in a experimental process.
NR: You’re about to return to Australia playing a string of headline shows, does playing in Australia feel any different to playing anywhere else in the world?
D: I honestly feel that the scene gains strengths every time I return here. I think that the Australian crowd are particularly open minded and it’s amazing how accepting they are about me trying to take them on a journey sonically. The other night I was able to play from Tech house all the way to Berlin Techno with a lot of genre changes in between and every honestly remained so open to it. I adore playing here.
Friday 29th March: Geisha, Perth
Saturday 30th March: Paradigm, Melbourne
Saturday 30th March: The Burdekin, Sydney
Friday 5th April: Future, Auckland
Sunday 7th April: Revolver Upstairs, Melbourne