Techno Tuesday: Pig&Dan on the psychology of DJing
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
Pig&Dan are one of the more formidable pairings in the techno realm. One need look no further than their refined catalogue of club cuts, which includes big singles on imprints like Suara, Bedrock, and their own label, ELEVATE. What’s more, their studio prowess recently earned them a Beatport #1 with their mighty track “Growler,” taken from Diynamic’s latest Four to the Floor compilation.
Aside from recently making their Essential Mix debut, Pig&Dan have also released their new album Modular Baptism. Spanning 16 tracks, at least six of which run over 8 minutes in length, it’s a sprawling collection of dancefloor heaters with authentic analog appeal. To celebrate the release, Pig&Dan join us for Techno Tuesday, offering their thoughts on the psychology of mixing and what makes a good DJ set.
“We’ve been DJing for 20 years and still think it’s a surreal job/lifestyle. Don’t get us wrong we love what we do but sometimes stand there and think what the hell are we doing here. It’s crazy to think that we’re flown around the world to do what we love for sometimes as long as 2 hours and then go on to the next place, stay there for a day and go back home. Djing isn’t just about playing records in the club and lifting your hands up in the air, for a true artist it’s much more than that. For the artist playing music it’s a form of communication and it’s a very personal part of their soul. When we play we become extremely sensitive and go into a higher state of consciousness which allows us to connect with the crowd and send them our energy through the music. Real Djing requires structure and psychology, you can change the way the crowd behaves or feels by the sort of music you play and the order you play it in.
For example, one of the most important sets and parts of the night in our opinion is the warm up set. People think it’s all about the headline set but it isn’t because the warm up set can affect the way the night is going to go. We always like to compare the warm up set to foreplay before having sex or the appetiser in a meal before the main course and the dessert. I’m talking about this because I feel that the art of the warm up set has been lost yet it is such an important part of the night and club culture. It’s part of that psychology we mentioned before, and yes although everyone can buy traktor and start djing in 5 minutes, it takes years to develop that psychology and that music sensibility that differentiates a good dj from a bad dj. We always say you can give the same Dj bag to 2 different Djs, the good one will rock the house but the bad one will not get a reaction.
Music production is an extension of Djing and again is a very personal creative process where again the music you’re making is a part of your soul. For us (Pig&Dan) making our own music has been an essential part of our career and developing our own sets. Our motivation for making music is that we love making it, it gives us purpose and at the same time it makes us different to other Djs because it’s our own signature sound and style. We make music so we can play it and at the same time our sets are even more personal because we are communicating our emotions through the music we play and sharing a very personal part of our soul when we play our own music, so it’s a double whammy.
But in the end the most important thing is that you love what you do and you enjoy doing it, music is about having fun, and there is nothing better to do what you love and make a living so we thank all those people that have followed us in this long and beautiful journey, see you soon on the dancefloor!”
Pig&Dan’s ‘Modular Baptism’ is available on iTunes here.