Spanish techno duo Igor Tchkotoua (Pig) and Dan Duncan have been rocking dancefloors across the globe since they first met by chance on a flight to Spain back in 1999. With every passing year they have continued to step it up, and with the launch of ELEVATE, their latest record label, their star is sure to keep rising. Shanghai is next on their quest for world domination, and ahead of this Friday's hugely anticipated show at Arkham, they took some time out to tell us about some of their latest projects, and why 2014 is shaping up to be perhaps their most successful year yet!
You guys famously met through a chance encounter on a flight back in 1999. What do you guys think that you individually bring to the collaboration, and why do you think it works so well?
Well we have different tastes and a different vision of music, but at the same time we have chemistry in the studio so it really works. You could say that Dan’s creativity is much more clean and concise, a bit like a surgeon, while Pig is much more chaotic and abstract. The combination of order and chaos works very well.
You've said before that you both recognized that you had a 'mutual philosophy' towards music. What is this philosophy, both individually and collectively?
It’s not really very complicated, we are just two people who are passionate about music and strive to evolve and improve. We are perfectionists by nature and always put 110 percent into our music. If we can't play our own music then it’s not worth putting out and not good enough.
You guys are well known for being prolific producers, at one point putting out 18 releases in just over a year. Do you ever find it difficult to fit everything you want to play into a two hour set? If so, how do you approach this? Do you begin a show saying 'tonight we are gonna play a lot of dark house' or do you approach it in a less structured way?
It’s not really structured, its more about having good music to play, categorising it in genres and knowing what u have in your bag and then adapting to the situation. Not every crowd is gonna react the same way so you have to adapt real time to the crowd, the location, and time you are playing. It’s all about psychology in the end; creating the right ambiance at the right time....
Sven Vath played here a few weeks ago. You guys have collaborated extensively in the past. Any plans for more collaboration with Sven Vath/ Cocoon Recordings in the future?
Last year we put out two tracks on the Cocoon 100 compilation and that went very well, but this year we have decided to really concentrate on our own label and releasing most of our original material on Elevate.
You put out over twenty releases with 'Submission', then launched ‘Sonic Society’. Now you have launched your new label, Elevate. Why did you decide to rebrand your label this way?
We've had five labels in total. Sonic Society was our second label and that also closed down, unfortunately we've had many problems with partners in the past and those have been the main reasons we've had to close record labels. Presently our label Elevate has been open for a year and it has been a great success all though, but it still has a long way to go. They say that we learn from our mistakes and hard situations, I would say that Elevate is a label that has arisen out of our experience through the years, from all the good and bad things that have happened.
How are things going with Elevate? Any exciting projects coming up that you can tell us about?
Well we are very excited to release our first album on one of our own labels, which will come out beginning of June. We just showed it to Stephan Bodzin and he described it as a massive piece of contemporary techno! We also have some great remixers coming to the label, like Testpilot, Matador, and John Digweed amongst others.
You guys have both been on a long road towards stardom, even before you began working together. After those formative years making tea in major label recording studios, it must be pretty satisfying that all the hard work is now paying off?
It is satisfying but it’s never ending. If you let your guard down in this game you can be forgotten very quickly, so you have to be very consistent on a daily basis.
You say that your mission is to 'put the smiley face back on the dance industry'. Do you feel like you are winning this battle at the moment? Are you looking forward to putting a smiley face on Shanghai?
We love music and love it even more when people are enjoying what we are doing. In the end it’s all about making people get out of their daily routine and give them a space where they can let go. The bottom line is that we are entertainers and we want to be as good as we can. We are always looking forward to make people happy. Let’s hope that's possible in Shanghai! See you on the dance floor!
BY ARVIN MAHANTA