We reunited with our mate Dan from Pig&Dan, who told us why Richie Hawtin’s Model 1 has taken their DJ’ing to the next level.
We’ve interviewed you a couple of times previously. Last time we spoke you were releasing Destination Unknown on Bedrock. Things have blown up massively since then and you’ve joined the ranks of the Techno Elite. Could you ever have imagined things would ever get this big when you met Pig on that plane all those years ago?
“Destination Unknown” on Bedrock was a milestone for us when it came to reaching different fans, and it’s still getting loads of plays on Spotify right now too. I find it hard to pigeon hole our position in the industry at the moment. We just keep on going and continue to hope for the best. It’s all good fun and we’re massively appreciative for the position we’re in.
You’ve recently collaborated with Adam Beyer and the release hits Beatport on Monday. Adam is rightfully moving to the top of his game now. How important is this release for you and how does it stack up against everything else you’ve done?
We’ve done quite a few things recently from working with Solomun – to tech house – the commercial thing with Deadmau5 – but I have to say it’s an enormous milestone to work with one of our mentors. Adam shares the same kind of opinions as us musically – and we have a similar background. Adam was in to drum and bass like me back in the 90’s and the Stone Roses – I actually worked their programmer on their second album. So we really respect Adam a lot. Gig wise his sets have quite a similar energy to ours. We’ve never had the chance to play on the same bill as him yet but who knows what the future holds?
We’ve all put a load of effort in to the collaboration. It took us a year to make between touring. The project kept evolving and getting fresher. It’s varied, and showcase our different styles so it will be interesting to see what people think!
We heard you’re also remixing Christian Smith’s Input / Output on Tronic. It’s a massive EP which also featuring a certain Laurent Garnier. When can we expect to hear previews of that?
It’s out on 24th April – so probably a couple of weeks in advance. The track has a great melodic breakdown – we took some inspo from the intelligent drum and base era with this one.
You’ve played for Unidosh a few times and you’re headling their launch party in Leeds tonight! How did this come about?
It’s actually really good friend of ours who started a mobile app. It’s an app designed for students who need a bit of extra cash. There’s always been a pin up board for jobs at Universities – but nobody had ever done anything electronically, which now in this age seems fitting as everyone is on their phone 24/7 whether its socially or for education. This app enables you to ask the community in your university to find work or ask if anyone’s prepared to do jobs for money. You have to be a student to register – so it’s completely safe to use. From the looks of things, it seems to be kicking off massively. We’ve always had amazing support from university goers – so we wanted to fully support this project any way that we could.
After Leeds, we hear you’re heading on tour in the US. There you’ll be joining Richie Hawtin at is Play Differently party in Miami with the man himself Hawtin, Osuna Moudaber, Matador… at Space… do gigs get any bigger?
Not really! As far as it being an honour for us to play there is an understatement. The party showcases all the artists who are using his new Richie’s new mixer. He invited us over to Berlin to show us what it could do. We were a bit sceptical at first but it only took us 10 minutes to fall in love with it and we’ve been using it ever since. It’s taken our DJ sets to the next level. Richie recently made the call to invite us to play at his WMC gig so we’re really thrilled to be doing it.
Why is Richie’s Model 1 mixer such a game changer and how does it improve yours gigs?
It gives you the ability to choose the frequency you want to cut, so it’s improving the way we mix and play live. There’s 2 separate headphone buses – so you can both be mixing at the same time – so you’re both totally locked in the moment and can add to each other’s mix. You can be EQ’ing everything perfectly well in advance so it gives you a chance to execute your mixes better. When you usually play back to back, one of you has to put your headphones down whilst the other mixes; and usually there’s an entourage in the booth so you end up chatting, so not as focused on what’s happening. With this mixer you can both be part of the mix – continuously working together – it keeps you in the bubble – and visually, it’s cool for the crowd to see you both working with 4 decks.
I’ve had sound engineers running over to me and saying “what the fuck have you just done to the sound? It’s amazing compared to the DJ before you!” The mixer offers the full dynamic range. Some mixers have limiters on the output – so this one’s definitely aimed at the professional market, but that’s why it costs £3,000! Sure it’s a lot of money but once you give it a go, you’ll never go back. Air Serbia lost ours in transit for 5 days and we were gutted. The thought of going back to our old mixer was gutting. Luckily it turned up again..
Do you think it’s going to become industry standard?
I think it’s got potential to become industry standard. DJ’s will need to learn how to use it and adapt. We played a Serbian festival “Green Love” recently and they had two model 1’s –Mint Club where we’re playing in Leeds tomorrow has one too. So there’s people adopting it.
Which live acts/producers are absolutely smashing it for you right?
Matador; he’s somebody we’ve supported for a long time. Met him about 11 years ago in Belgrave. We were playing some of his tracks in the set and one day this long haired Irish man rushed to the front with a card saying ‘I am matador’. I instantly invited him to come behind the decks. When Richie Hawtin took him under his wing, he encouraged him to play as a live act. Matador’s sets are just amazing – he really rocks the house. Playing live techno live is a true art form and this man can pull it off.
Stefan Bodzin is also ahead of the game at the moment. With the lightsabre he made for his live performances and his now his new moog controller. Another outstanding talent.
I also like Carl Craig too. He’s great!
Luke Slater was amazing live too. What happened to him?
I’m not sure. I think he just exploded lol. I don’t know.
What is your go to label?
Fifty Weapons? But we play 99% of our own music because it’s the only way you can become unique. We’re living in an age where everybody has access to the same thing. The sound we play is the sound we make, so you either love us or hate us.
So how much music do you have to write?
We’re prolific writers. We’ve had to adapt to life on the road so we utilise times on planes, write in airports etc… me and Pig have got great synergy. Sometimes we can write 2 or 3 tracks in a week. It’s easier to produce when you’ve got your mate at the side of you. One of us starts on a track – takes it half way – passes it over, and vice versa. I take care of all the sound and have had to train my ears to do mix downs on headphones because we can’t be in the studio all the time. My mastering engineer says our mix downs are better now than when we were using monitors. And our sound seems to be fatter in the club because the mix is more genuine. So touring isn’t all bad – ha ha!
Okay to finish off – here are some quick fire questions:
Advice for all the ravers: Leave your phone at home and live for the moment. Stop filming gigs. It’s easy to be distracted with something else and forget to memorise places and times that are truly wonderful.
Biggest gig of your life: Ultra, Buenos Aires
Vinyl or cds: CDs but we both miss vinyl
Next trend in techno: Intelligent drum and bass influence
Best tune: Arrival – “Matrixxman” Old school acid!!
Favourite airline: Not sure, but I know 100% NOT SERBIAN AIRLINES!!!
Best hotels: Marriot have great sound proofing – perfect for when you need to sleep through the day
Essential thing on your rider: Coconut Water – it’s easy to drink so it keeps us hydrated
Craziest thing on tour: Oh yes, an afterhours party at Cocoon when Pig fell off the terrace – he leant on a fence and just fell off the stage from a great height. One minute he was there the next he’d vanished. I was looking around thinking where’s Pig? I looked down and just saw him there crumpled on the floor. Me and Adam Beyer had to winch him back up again – we were absolutely pissing ourselves! I think he can agree that was one of the craziest for him too and one he doesn’t want to repeat any time soon!
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